Bridging the gap between neurorights and cyberights: introducing new ethical and legal safeguards for protecting humans in the digital era

March 21, 2024 - March 22, 2024
Dirpolis Institute, Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant'Anna

Piazza Martiri della Libertà, 33
Pisa 56127

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University of Salento


Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant'Anna

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The Dirpolis Institute (Law, Politics and Development) of Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies and the Digital Humanism Research Network (Sant’Anna School, Università Suor Orsola Benincasa - Centro ReCEPL, Università del Salento - Digital Humanities Center) are organizing the international conference "Bridging the gap between neurorights and cyberights: introducing new ethical and legal safeguards for protecting humans in the digital era”, scheduled to be held in Pisa on 21 and 22 March 2024.


By fostering a dialogue between philosophers and law scholars, the conference aims to develop an innovative perspective on the issue of protecting the person and human rights in the face of the proliferation of digital technologies, which are increasingly integrated into every aspect and dimension of human life, and thus potentially create new dimensions of harm that are still vaguely defined at an ethical and legal level.

The emergence of new possible harmful projections on the person, linked to an increasingly pervasive and integrated use of new technologies, requires a reflection on possible models and instruments of protection that specifically address this new dimension. To this end, the speakers invited to the conference will be invited to respond, from different perspectives, to the question that inspires the title of the event, i.e. to understand whether a more complete protection of the person in the digital society can be derived from a fruitful dialogue between "neurorights" and "cyberights".

The former are ethical, legal, and social principles for the protection of the human mind, developed in the face of technological advances in neuroscience and neuroengineering, which could usefully be applied to a broader conceptualisation of the impact of new digital technologies on the (mind of) the person. The latter, on the other hand, although designed to respond precisely to the ethical and legal challenges posed by ICT/IA, must now more effectively address the further detrimental effects on the person and his or her physical and mental integrity of possible violations of computer security and digital rights.

The spirit of the conference is to define the normative tools to address new technological challenges to human rights arising from various technologies. Thus, the scope of analysis is not limited to neurotechnologies that interact directly or indirectly with the brain, but also to a broader range of digital technologies and AI systems that may undermine or threaten the fundamental human rights identified mainly by the neurorights framework, such as cognitive freedom, mental integrity, psychological continuity and mental privacy, to be read also through the lens of digital rights and safeguards such as privacy, cybersecurity, security, manipulation.

More information about the program of the conference will follow soon.


Prof. Nita A. Farahany (Duke University); Prof. Marcello Ienca (Technische Universität München); Dr. Jan Christoph Bublitz (Universität Hamburg); Dr. Sjors Ligthart (Tilburg University); Prof. Andrea Lavazza (Milan University); Prof. Fiorella Battaglia (Salento University); Prof. Lucilla Gatt (Suor Orsola Benincasa University); Dr. Maria Cristina Gaeta (Suor Orsola Benincasa University).

Other invited speakers to be confirmed soon.

Call for Abstracts

The conference will also provide an opportunity for young researchers (PhD students, post-docs, early career researchers, etc.) to present their research in a stimulating and open environment, and to discuss their ideas with selected speakers and colleagues.

We are looking for contributions that fit into the dialogue between 'neurorights' and 'cyberights', from a legal or a philosophical perspective (but interdisciplinary papers are also welcome). The conference aims to create an interdisciplinary dialogue between philosophical and legal scholars and encourages also a variety of perspectives within each disciplinary area (e.g. political philosophy, moral philosophy, philosophy of mind, philosophy of technology, as well as private law, comparative private law, constitutional and European law, criminal law). Panels will be organized by theme, rather than by disciplinary 'clusters'. The selection process will encourage the selection of legal and philosophical papers in equal proportions.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Present and future technological challenges for humans rights in the digital era;
  • Grounds, scope and aims of “cyberights” and “neurorights” and their possible interactions;
  • Autonomy and (technological) manipulation as philosophical and legal concepts;
  • Mental Integrity, Psychological Continuity and Cognitive liberty as philosophical and legal concepts;
  • The evolving notion of privacy in the digital era;
  • Digital (neuro)surveillance between “cyberights” and “neurorights”;
  • Personal identity and freedom of thought;
  • New kinds of “harm” to the person brought about by AI systems;
  • Ethical and legal implications of human-technological hybridization;
  • The use of neurotechnologies in criminal justice (policing, sentencing, trial).

How to apply

Participants can submit their abstract in English (500 words) and a short bio to [email protected] by 28 January 2024. Although we invite to present interdisciplinary contributions, we ask to explicitly indicate whether the abstract proposed is intended to fall mainly within the “Philosophy” or “Law” domain. Abstracts will be reviewed and selected by the scientific committee of the Conference. Results will be notified by 11 February 2024.

Selected presenters will be expected to present their research in English in presence in Pisa. Online participation will be considered only under exceptional circumstances. Participants will be charged no fee for the attendance to the conference. Moreover, if we receive a high number of valuable submissions, we will organize a cycle of online seminars for letting contributors present their work there. The cycle would aim to favor reciprocal feedback, networking and exchange of ideas.

Selected speakers will be given the opportunity to publish their paper in the ReCEPL 'European Journal of Privacy Law & Technologies'

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#, #Neuroethics, #Pisa events, #Neurorights, #Cyberights, #AI ethics, #Philosophy of law, #human rights, #