Summer Break!  See you in the fall.

We will engage researchers from different disciplines to consider the ethical, social, legal, and cultural implications of innovative biomedical research for patients, people, animals, and populations. Panel experts and audience participants will specifically discuss the opportunities and challenges of governing neuroscientific advances and novel neurotechnologies. 

Neuroscience has reached a pivotal point in its study of the human brain, including the creation of novel neurotechnologies with unique capabilities for both understanding the brain's intricate functions and manipulating neural activity with high precision. While both neuroscience and neurotechnology are critical to improving societal and individual well-being, both can also be applied in a variety of domains such as law, context of legal systems, employment, and entertainment, impacting our daily lives and society in unprecedented ways: some positive and some negative.  This poses unique ethical, social, and legal questions, including: 
How can we best regulate development and use? 
What can be learned from other technologies regarding how best to govern emerging technologies?  
Is new regulation needed to address neurotechnologies? 

Jennifer Wagner  |  Law, Policy, and Engineering 
Laura Cabrera      |  Engineering Science & Mechanics / Rock Ethics Institute
Michele Mekel      |  Bioethics, law, and Medical Humanities

Moderator:  Laura Weyrich  |   Anthropology and Bioethics

Global problems that have the potential to be existential are of such complexity that no one field, agency, country, or foundation can solve them.  Systems solutions to those problems by definition require an unprecedented degree of interdisciplinary collaboration to solve problems not solvable within single disciplines.  By banding together internationally, universities may be the best social structure in society that would overall be capable of rising to the challenge of finding systems solutions to global problems, and by a decentralized organization be potentially immune to less-than-beneficent influences.  Participating in those solutions is a moral responsibility of Universities, a useful focus for the future of Universities, and motivates future funding for their role in addressing global problems and making the world a better place.  I propose that Penn State faculty and community play a key role in interdisciplinary approaches to solving global problems and that we outline current and potential activities that will enable such activity. We can be purposeful in developing a culture that maximizes our interdisciplinary effectiveness.

Keith Cheng |  College of Medicine

Penn State’s NSF-supported Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) will soon invite proposals for a Seed competition that seeks to nucleate interdisciplinary teams in areas of transformative materials research that would be competitive as Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) in the upcoming 2025–26 national MRSEC competition. During the Cafe I will describe the qualities of a successful Seed-IRG. Immediately after the Café (starting at 11a) will be a round table opportunity for anyone interested in further discussion & brainstorming.

Vin Crespi |  Penn State MRSEC

Humans have the ability to recognize patterns, and architects in particular have a tendency to see them everywhere. This can be useful for research and design. I will discuss how decoding the logic behind the tessellation of the first geodesic dome can help the eco-conscious revival of an ancient wooden-roof construction method. Furthermore, I will demonstrate how we can apply known patterns and define new ones to increase the use of reclaimed materials, particularly bricks. 

Speaker: Orsolya Gaspar |  Architecture

The Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D) is an interdisciplinary, intercollegiate research lab dedicated to cutting-edge additive manufacturing technologies (AM). The center houses advanced equipment to support AM research of metal, polymer, and ceramic materials, to include non-destructive evaluation techniques via x-ray tomography. With a dual focus on engineering design and processing science, and a fine-tuned balance of academic and industrial ties, CIMP-3D is a world-class facility for research that welcomes collaboration to explore novel materials and processes (ex: refractories), designs (ex: compliant mechanisms), and applications (ex: heat exchangers). This presentation will provide an overview of CIMP-3D’s facilities and capabilities, its operational structure and collaboration opportunities, and a selection of work performed in the past covering a wide range of topics.

Speakers: Hunter Rauch & Guha Manogharan |  CIMP-3D