Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


UCL/British Psychological Society History of the Psychological Disciplines Seminar Series: Being Brains - Making the Cerebral Subject

6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, 11 December 2017

Being Brains

Event Information

Open to



SELCS Common Room, G24, Foster Court, Malet Place

The IAS and the Health Humanities Centre is delighted to welcome Professor Fernando Vidal (Centre for the History of Science, Autonomous University of Barcelona).

Are we our brains? Starting in the 'Decade of the Brain' of the 1990s, 'neurocentrism' became widespread in most Western and many non-Western societies. Formidable advances, especially in neuroimaging, have bolstered this 'neurocentrism' in the eyes of the public and political authorities, helping to justify increased funding for the brain sciences. The human sciences have also taken the 'neural turn', and subspecialties in fields such as anthropology, aesthetics, education, history, law, sociology and theology have grown and professionalised at record speed. At the same time, the development of dubious but successful commercial enterprises such as 'neuromarketing' and 'neurobics' have emerged to take advantage of the heightened sensitivity to all things neuro. Sceptics have only recently begun to react to the hype, invoking warnings of neuromythology, neurotrash, neuromania and neuromadness. While this neurocentric view of human subjectivity is neither hegemonic nor monolithic, it embodies a powerful ideology that is at the heart of some of today's most important philosophical, ethical, scientific and political debates. Being Brains critically explores the internal logic of such ideology, its genealogy and its main contemporary incarnations.

Organiser: Professor Sonu Shamdasani (UCL)

All welcome.

Tickets/registration: https://beingbrains.eventbrite.co.uk

From the Torrington Place entrance to UCL, enter the campus on Malet Place. After fifty metres, you will find Foser court on the right hand side. Turn right under the underpass, and enter via the second door on the right. The common room is straight ahead.


SELCS Common Room, G24, Foster Court, Malet Place