PBS special Brains on Trial brings Alan Alda to campus

WS-A Brains on TrialOver the past couple of years, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong has been consulting with PBS on a new, two-part documentary, Brains on Trial, hosted by Alan Alda. On September 11, a one-hour panel was taped at Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art moderated by Alan Alda, with faculty panelists Sinnott-Armstrong, Ahmad Hariri, Scott Huettel, and Nita Farahany. The panel addressed ways in which new technology and scientific studies could be used to further criminal justice, with perspectives from psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, and the law. Among the questions discussed were: “Can FMRI scans be used to detect guilt in criminals, and if so, should they?” “Does the use of neuroscience technology violate the right against self-incrimination?”

Sinnott-Armstrong, the Chauncey Stillman Professor in Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics, is a faculty leader in the program for Moral Attitudes and Decision-Making at KIE. This program area explores why people think and do what they do through the lenses of psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, and sociology.

The panel airs on WUNC-TV Thursday, September 12 at 10:00 pm. For additional photos of the panel, visit Duke Today.