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Mind Wars: Brain Science and the Military in the 21st Century Reprint Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1934137437
ISBN-10: 193413743X
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Editorial Reviews


“There has been virtually no debate on the ethical questions raised by the brave new brain technologies. . . . The time to speak up is before the genie is out of the bottle.” —Wall Street Journal

“Quietly provocative . . . Moreno takes an evenhanded, thorough look at how deeply the intelligence and defense communities are involved in many of those advances and the mindfields that might lie ahead.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Even-handed and thought-provoking. [Mind Wars] is very readable, and easily accessible to people without a background in neuroscience.” —Neurophilosophy at the Guardian

“An exhilarating and anxiety-provoking whirlwind tour of recent developments in neuroscience that possess defense or national security potential . . . groundbreaking.” —American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB)

“More than a serious work of public policy, the volume is a son’s quest to understand the work of his psychiatrist father, who pioneered lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) experiments in the 1960s . . . Moreno deserves credit for having the courage to go where no bioethicist has gone before. His philosophical forays into mind-brain questions are learned, and his narrative about the rise of big science and the “garrison state” represents a provocative historical synthesis. . . . Mind Wars is not the last word on this fascinating, frightening, and potentially transformative corner of neuroscience and neuroethics. But it is the first.” —Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)

“A fascinating and sometimes unsettling book. . . . Any academic involvement in military research presents an ethical dilemma, and Moreno’s exploration of this theme is one of the most interesting aspects of the book.” —Nature

“The world we encounter in Mind Wars is like the world in [Philip K.] Dick’s A Scanner Darkly.” —Conspiracy Times

“Crisply written . . . praiseworthy.” —Publishers Weekly

“Renowned bioethics authority Moreno travels to the nexus of brain science, engineering, and national security to explore the connections between neuroscience research and national defense agencies. . . . Given the topic’s provocative nature, this is recommended for all science and bioethics collections.” —Library Journal

“Raises serious social and policy questions . . . deserves a wide readership.” —CHOICE

“This will certainly be the source book on the ways in which neurobiology may rewrite the rules of warfare, spying and intelligence collection in the twenty-first century.” —ARTHUR L. CAPLAN, Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania

“Few people ever think about brain research as a national security discipline. This intriguing and provocative book lays out how neurotechnologies for brain analysis, repair and enhancement can be multi-purpose and serve both good and nefarious functions.” —ALAN I. LESHNER, Ph.D., American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) CEO and Science Executive Publisher

“Fascinating, clear-headed, optimistic, and lucidly written, Mind Wars makes a compelling yet nuanced case for scientific progress in the area of neurology enhancement and for the transparent collaboration of the academy and the military.” —SALLY SATEL, M.D., author of PC, M.D.: How Political Correctness Is Corrupting Medicine and Resident Scholar at American Enterprise Institute

About the Author

Jonathan D. Moreno has been a senior staff member for three presidential advisory commissions and has served on a number of Pentagon advisory committees. He is the author and editor of many seminal books, including Mind Wars: Brain Science and the Military in the 21st Century and The Body Politic: The Battle Over Science in America, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year. Called the “most interesting bioethicist of our time” by the American Journal of Bioethics, Moreno is currently the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the editor-in-chief for the Center for American Progress’ online magazine, Science Progress.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press; Reprint edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193413743X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934137437
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

See Jonathan's website at

Jonathan D. Moreno is one of thirteen Penn Integrates Knowledge university professors at the University of Pennsylvania, holding the David and Lyn Silfen chair. He is also Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, of History and Sociology of Science, and of Philosophy. In 2008-09 he served as a member of President Barack Obama's transition team.

Moreno is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and is a National Associate of the National Research Council. He has served as a senior staff member for three presidential advisory commissions, including the current bioethics commission under President Obama, and has given invited testimony for both houses of congress. He was an Andrew W. Mellon post doctoral fellow, holds an honorary doctorate from Hofstra University, and is a recipient of the Benjamin Rush Medal from the College of William and Mary Law School.

Moreno is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, where he edits the magazine Science Progress ( Moreno has served as adviser to many non-governmental organizations, including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is a member of the Governing Board of the International Neuroethics Society, a Faculty Affiliate of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, a Fellow of the Hastings Center and the New York Academy of Medicine, and a past president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. He advises various science, health, and national security agencies and serves as a member of the Defense Intelligence Agency's TIGER committee on potentially disruptive novel technologies.

Kirkus Reviews said that Moreno's new book, The Body Politic: "illuminates intricate threads of history and complex philosophical arguments. Patient general readers, as well as scholars and students of bioethics, will benefit from Moreno's erudition and fairness...." Publisher's Weekly called it "[a]n important analysis of the societal currents swirling around volatile scientific issues . . . Moreno delivers a powerful defense of science [and] respects his readers' intelligence in this nuanced and thoughtful book." JAMA described Progress in Bioethics (2010) as "provocative and stimulating." Publisher's Weekly said that his book Science Next (2009) "brings hope into focus with reports of innovation that will enhance lives." The journal Nature called Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense (2006), "fascinating and sometimes unsettling." The New York Times said that Undue Risk: Secret State Experiments on Humans (1999) was "an earnest and chilling account." His other books include Ethical Guidelines for Innovative Surgery (2006); Is There an Ethicist in the House? (2005); In the Wake of Terror: Medicine and Morality in a Time of Crisis (2003); Ethical and Regulatory Aspects of Clinical Research (2003); Deciding Together: Bioethics and Moral Consensus (1995); Ethics in Clinical Practice (2000); and Arguing Euthanasia (1995). Moreno has published about 300 papers, reviews and book chapters, and is a member of several editorial boards.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jennifer67 on November 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well researched and clearly written by an expert. Provides a unique look into actual application of the latest findings in neuroscience without all the unrealistic hype and fantasy. Also, the best treatment of ethical considerations in neuroscience. Don't let the hokey name and cover illustration throw you off.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By lilcreative on February 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I too recently took a ''neuro-ethics'' course with the author, and I wasn't required to purchase this book - I did so because the material in the course was utterly engrossing and I wanted more, more, more. This book did not disappoint. Open your eyes and mind, and start thinking more fully about where the world has been and where it is headed - something we all need to do. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
For someone who is a professor of Biomedical Ethics, written a book on Secret State Experiments on Humans, served as a senior staff member on two presidential ethics commissions, served as president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, I'm surprised that he believes "those who think they have been victimized by government mind control experiments are misguided". His book provides interesting insight into some of the government intelligence agency projects but mostly with a one-sided view on how useful the projects are with little consideration of potential ethical concerns or mention of previous human subject experimentation violations such as MKUltra.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JDSredhead on July 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is very well written and covers the ethical considerations and dual use of brain science research. It is a must read for any lay man interested in this technology. It covers only vaguely the research that was being done and was written several years ago. So much of the current research is surely covered by National Security secrecy that the specifics of today's work is not mentioned but I am certain it has advanced much further than the book covers. It gives a look at possibilities of brain technology both for future military and civilian application.
Judy Serreze
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carol j Montgomery-Taylor on January 14, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have recently finished a "neuro-ethics" course instructed by the author of this book. I was not required to purchase this or any other book written by Dr. Moreno, but my curiosity got the better of me. I like to see how my instructors think so I purchased this book and another, "The Body Politic". Even with my vast knowledge of the military and some of the things they (collectively the military) do, experiment with, and subject our soldiers to, I was surprised to say the least. If anybody remembers "LOST," the TV series, you will recognize that the DARMA name and its' mission correlates nicely with DARPA, its' mission, and the types of work they actually perform, to include medicating our pilots on long-haul flights to keep them awake. "Mind Wars" lives up to its' name and "The Body Politic," while on a slightly different track, are well worth the read.
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