How will neuroscience influence the future of psychiatry?

The Centre for Digital Life Norway welcomes all interested to a public lecture on the role of neuroscience for the future of psychiatry by the prominent British sociologist Nikolas Rose. He will address questions such as: Where does the current scientific and popular attention to the human brain come from? Does it change how we understand ourselves? And where are the social sciences and humanities in all of this?

Public lecture

Place: House of Literature, Selanraa, Kongens gate 2, Trondheim

Time: Tuesday 15 May 18:00 – 20:00

Nikolas Rose is Professor of Sociology at King’s College London. He has been highly influential in popularizing Foucault’s thinking in social sciences. Rose’s previous/earlier studies showed how genomics transforms societies, he then inquired into the history of medical knowledge, while recently turning to the study of neurosciences. Rose is also a Co-director of the Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation (CSynBI). He will give his Volterra Lecture:

The Future of Psychiatry: Neuroscience and the politics of mental health

What kinds of creatures do we, modern human beings, take ourselves to be? In this talk, Rose draws on his research on the history and sociology of psychiatry and the neurosciences. He will argue that the current focus of scientific, medical and popular attention on the human brain amounts to a shift in our ‘relation to ourselves’. He argues that those from the social and human sciences need to attend to and engage with this shift, but that their relation to these developments should be one of ‘critical friendship’. His talk focuses on psychiatry and mental health, and he illustrates his argument with a critical analysis of five areas where such critical friendship is required:

  • The idea that disorders from anxiety to addiction are ‘brain disorders’
  • The claims made by the ‘big brain projects’ such as the Human Brain Project and the US Brain Project
  • The global rise in the use of psychiatric drugs
  • The search for ‘biomarkers’ for the diagnosis and treatment of mental distress
  • The ‘translational imperative, and the problems of moving findings from the laboratory to everyday life

He concludes with a discussion of contemporary transformations in conceptions of personhood and their implications.

The lecture is followed by a public discussion.

The event is co-organized with the House of Literature.


Heidrun Åm
+47 477 11 797


Tags: Volterra Lectures, Helse, RRI
Published Oct. 8, 2020 1:38 PM - Last modified Dec. 3, 2020 3:18 PM