Berman Institute’s Debra Mathews Appointed President of the International Neuroethics Society

November 15, 2023

The Board of Directors of the International Neuroethics Society (INS) appointed Debra JH Mathews, Associate Director for Research and Programs at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and Professor in the Department of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, to serve as president for a 2-year term beginning on October 25, 2023. The president serves as chair of the 15-member Board and guides efforts to achieve the mission of the Society to encourage and inspire research and dialogue on the responsible use of advances in brain science. Mathews has been an active member of the INS since 2006, a Board member since 2015, and is now the seventh president since its incorporation in 2008.

“I stepped forward for consideration for this role, not only out of a sense of duty to this organization that’s been such a critical part of my professional life literally from the beginning, and from which I’ve received so much, but also because I hope that I have something to offer,” said Mathews, who outlined several priorities she intends to champion during her presidency. Her focus includes:

  • Undertaking important inward facing and outward facing work on inclusion, diversity, anti-racism and equity;
  • Growing and supporting a pipeline of diverse junior scholars who want to grow from membership, to engaged involvement, and into leadership positions;
  • Strengthening and creating robust connections between the INS and institutions and organizations representing allied fields and scholars.

“I’d like to see the field, and INS — having grown and matured over the last 15 years plus — reach out more, not only to neuroscientists, but also to other areas of science and technology, including genetics, stem cell science, AI, and other subspecialties within bioethics and beyond,” said Mathews. A video of her address is included as a chapter in the Business Meeting recording.

The International Neuroethics Society is a professional association of scientists, scholars, students, and practicing legal and health professionals leading the discussion on the complex ethical issues arising from brain research and an expanding understanding of the mind. Experts in the ethical, legal, and societal impacts of advances in neuroscience, Society members are uniquely equipped to communicate the value and implications that new knowledge, technologies, and potential applications bring to human health and wellbeing.