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The Dana Foundation

The Dana Foundation is an American private philanthropic organisation committed to advancing brain research and educating the public on the potential of this research. The Foundation aims to develop a better understanding of the brain and its functions, to expedite discovery of treatments for brain disorders and education to remove the stigma surrounding brain disorders. Find additional information about the Foundation via their website. 

The Royal Society has partnered with The Dana Foundation to deliver its Neuroscience and the Law programme, which provides the opportunity for the legal community to engage with neuroscience. 

Currently funding: Neuroscience and the Law

Future developments in neuroscience could change moral and legal notions of criminality and responsibility. In the UK there has been a gap between the research conducted by neuroscientists and the day to day realities of the justice system. Neuroscientists and legal professionals work in different environments, using distinctly different methodologies and language. The Society’s Neuroscience and the Law programme aims to bridge this gap, bringing together scientists and members of the judiciary in a space that allows them to discuss and debate key areas of common interest. 

The Dana Foundation’s funding towards this programme allows the Society to deliver a series of seminars, continuing professional development meetings and other meetings to bridge the gap between neuroscientists and legal professionals. The programme covers topics such as memory as evidence, limitations of statistical evidence and the decision-making capacity of individuals. 

The Royal Society is committed to providing impartial and independent expert advice to both government entities and the public, to inform debate and guide good decision making. The Neuroscience and the Law programme was developed following the Royal Society Brain Waves project of 2010-2012. The Brain Waves project aimed to explore what neuroscience could offer, its limitations, and the potential benefits and risks posed by particular applications. 

Read more about the Brain Waves project and its associated essay volumes.