UCL neuroscientist awarded Goulstonian Lecture
6 November 2008
Professor Geraint Rees was recently awarded the 2009 Goulstonian Lecture, which he will deliver at the Royal College of Physicians of London on 26th February 2009.
He will discuss recent advances in brain imaging technology that show it is possible to accurately decode changes in an individual's conscious awareness based only on non-invasive measurements of their brain activity. These 'brain reading' abilities may transform our understanding of the brain, and provide important new medical insights; but they also raise important ethical issues concerning the privacy of personal thought. Professor Rees will describe recent work in this area, while setting it in the broader context of medical diagnosis and treatment.
The Goulstonian Lecture is named for Dr Theodore Goulston (1574-1632) who bequeathed to the Royal College of Physicians of London the sum of £200 "to purchase a rent-charge for the maintenance of an annual lecture, to be read within the College some time between Michaelmas and Easter, by one of the four youngest doctors of the College. A dead body was, if possible, to be procured, and two or more diseases treated of, upon the forenoons and afternoons of three successive days". The first lecture, in 1639, was given by Dr William Rant.