How much does the public actually care about brain science?

It feels to me like interest in the brain has exploded. I’ve seen huge investments in brain science by the USA and Europe (the BRAIN Initiative and the Human Brain Project), I’ve read about the rise in media coverage of neuroscience, and above all, I’ve noticed how journalists and bloggers now often frame stories as being about the brain as opposed to the person.

Look at these recent headlines: “Why your brain loves storytelling” (Harvard Business Review); “How Netflix is changing our brains” (Forbes); and “Why your brain wants to help one child in need — but not millions” (NPR). There are hundreds more, and in each case, the headline could be about “you” but the writer chooses to make it about “your brain”.

Consider too the emergence of new fields such as neuroleadership, neuroaesthetics and neuro-law. It was only a matter of time before someone announced that we’re in the midst of a neurorevolution. In 2009 Zach Lynch did that, publishing his The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science is Changing Our World.

Now there’s even more evidence that the neuro-revolution is on hold. Cliodhna O’Connor and Helene Joffe at UCL in London have just published in-depth interviews with 48 members of the British public and their main finding is that people mostly feel that neuroscience is irrelevant to them.

Read full original article: What Neuro-revolution? The Public Find Brain Science Irrelevant and Anxiety-provoking

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