Stem Cell Ethics: Human Brain Organoids
The UCSD Stem Cell Program and the Institute for Practical Ethics invite you to explore the ethical questions of growing stem-cell-derived human brain organoids and how we as humans define conscious.

As the field advances, questions about what these tissues are capable of as they become more sophisticated are now being examined. Join in the stimulating discussion about this technology.

Presenting are some of the leading voices in philosophy and neuroscience who will cover topics concerning the different types of consciousness, what it means to be consciousness and when a brain organoid might be considered a sentient entity.
The Ethics of Brain Organoids with Alysson Muotri, Christof Koch, Patricia Churchland, and Evan Thompson
Leading voices in philosophy and neuroscience wrap up a conference on the ethics of research using brain organoids with questions from the audience. Panelists: Christof Koch, Chief Scientist and President of the Allen Institute for Brain Science; Patricia Churchland, Emerita Professor, UC San Diego;
Evan Thompson, Professor of Philosophy, University of British Columbia; and Alysson Muotri, Director of the UC San Diego Stem Cell program.
Recorded on 10/04/2019.
Neural Organoids Are Not Brains in Vats with Evan Thompson
Recently, some scientists have asked whether neural organoids will ever be conscious, and have wondered about the ethical implications of this possibility. Meanwhile, some philosophers have argued that neural organoids are miniature versions of "brains in vats." Evan Thompson feels that both scientist and philosophers should shift their thinking. He argues that the minimal instantiation of sentience is organismic - not just neuronal, and that conscious processes of...
Sensory Implications of Brain Organoids with Patricia Churchland
What defines consciousness? Can it develop in a petri dish? Patricia Churchland reviews the current state of brain organoid research and shares her views on how conciseness and physical structures within the brain intersect. She also cautions the media on the tendency to "over hype" new research advances. Recorded on 10/04/2019.
Consciousness in Cerebral Organoids - How Would We Know? with Christof Koch
As brain organoids become more widely used in research, concerns about the development of consciousness arise. Christof Koch discusses how we determine and define consciousness and how we look for the underlying physical signatures of consciousness. Recorded on 10/04/2019.
The Current Status of Human Brain Organoids Research with Alysson Muotri and Larry Goldstein
The study of brain organoids is leading to a better understanding of human development and potential therapies for neurological disorders. Yet when people hear the phrase "brain in a dish" it instantly brings to mind the stuff of science fiction - labs full of sentient brains thinking and plotting. Alysson Muotri explains why these organoids should not called "brains in a dish" and how they are being used to explain human processes previously inaccessible to...

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