Is the Brain Smart Enough to Understand Who We Are?
Today, though science of consciousness keeps on growing to discover more and understand better the conscious brain that makes us the social human beings we are, questions remain in the scientific community as to what the current state of knowledge on brain activity is.
To discuss these interrogations, the “Fondation Médicaments & Sociétés” organised a conference on 2 April in collaboration with the European and Belgium Brain Councils. In particular, the event focus on the following question: is the brain smart enough to understand who we are?
As keynote introduction, MEP Philippe de Backer was invited to express the EU perspective on investment in research as a first step towards better understanding of the brain. Whilst healthcare remains high on the EU agenda, the main challenges in this regard are to achieve the delivery of quality care everywhere in Europe, and to ensure that knowledge and expertise are delivered to all patients, as many inequalities continue to persist. In addition, the EU was pointed to as investing relatively less in R&D in comparison to countries such as China or India for example; Philippe de Backer insisted on the fact that policies should prioritize research and education, as he saw those fields as critical in shaping societies in the longer run. “Europe should get the research it deserves” he concluded, asking for more commitment in this respect from his fellow MEPs, and all decision-makers in general.
The other speakers shared their perspective as to the current state of brain research, and raised their concerns on many issues, in particular the lack of standardisation of clinical trials. Although drug safety was crucial for brain drugs, the way these are approved needed to be reviewed. Part of the solution in this regard was seen in establishing stronger partnerships. “Money without collaboration won’t bring cures”, as Todd Sherer (Michael J. Fox Foundation) once said, quoted by Michel Goldman (Fondation Médicaments & Sociétés and Former Director of the Innovative Medicines Initiative).
The EBC would like to express its satisfaction and gratitude to all the participants for the good outcome of the event, which was seen by many as extremely successful both in terms of attendance and quality of the discussions.