During today’s seminar, we held an informal discussion on the impact that “neurohype” can have on neurotechnology research. We discussed the effects that media exposure can have on influencing public responses about the role of technology in society, how these attitudes might impact future research, and ways to foster public dialogue about the potential capabilities or harms of novel neurotechnology.
In order to generate greater traffic on neurotechnology media articles, scientific research papers may be used as a means to present broader issues about the role of technology in society. This risks asking “what if” questions that go beyond the realistic capabilities of research, and thus provides incorrect perceptions to readers about the progress of technology. The group discussed the consequences of producing hype in such a manner, expressing worry about how misinforming the public with such articles could impact future research into neurotechology. We also brainstormed more responsible ways of communicating scientific research with the public in order to produce interest in upcoming technology without simultaneously overstepping its bounds.