Mind Wars

Brain Research and National Defense

Jonathan D. Moreno

Cloth • $23.95 • 225 pages 
ISBN: 978-1932594164
Published November 2006

A provocative book that reads like an edge-of-your seat investigation into the intertwining worlds of science, technology, and government, Mind Wars is the first ever systematic overview of brain research and national security. 

Jonathan Moreno unearths a multitude of questions about federal defense agencies’ interest in the burgeoning field of neuroscience and describes the many fascinating ethical and policy issues that may emerge from this relationship.

Moreno, one of the best-known bioethicists in the US, calls for the scientific community to be more engaged in dealing with the unintended consequences of their work. As new kinds of weapons are added to the arsenal already at the disposal of fallible human leaders and their war fighters, we need to be sure we understand how they are used.



Chapter 1: DARPA on Your Mind

Chapter 2: Of Machines and Men

Chapter 3: Mind Games

Chapter 4: How to Think about the Brain

Chapter 5: Brain Reading

Chapter 6: Building Better Soldiers

Chapter 7: Enter the Nonlethals

Chapter 8: Toward an Ethics of Neurosecurity




“In a crisply written book...[Moreno] imagines a future conflict in which one side can scan from a distance the brains of soldiers on the other side and learn what they may be planning...[He] doesn't limit his discussion to brain-related reseasrch...but leaves substantive discussion...of the ethical implications...to his praiseworthy last chapter."
Publishers Weekly

“Moreno asks the tough ethical and policy questions that arise from using knowledge about how the human brain functions... Accessibly written... Given the topic's provocative nature, this is recommended for all science and bioethics collections."
Library Journal

“A fascinating and sometimes unsettling book... Any academic involvement in military research presents an ethical dilemma, and Moreno's exploration of this theme is one of the most interesting aspects of the book. He is no knee-jerk pacifist: he accepts that military force is sometimes necessary and argues convincingly that contact between military and civilian research is healthier than the alternative of total secrecy. He also acknowledges the 'dual-use' argument that many DARPA-funded programs have clear civilian pay-offs. Yet by taking military funding, he says, researchers are in some sense accomplices to the perpetuation of what he calls a 'national security state,' a posture of open-ended militarization supported by a vast budget that in the view of many critics, bears little relation to the actual threats confronting the United States."

“Quietly provocative... Moreno takes an evenhanded, thorough look at how deeply the intelligence and defense communities are involved in many of those advances and the mindfields that might lie ahead... In a thoughtful, easy-to-digest way, Moreno catalogs a long list of projects, some purely speculative, others in the development pipeline."
The Plain Dealer

“Few people ever think about brain research as a national security discipline. This intriguing and provocative book lays out how neurotechnologies for brain analysis, repair, and enhancement can be multi-purpose and serve both good and nefarious functions. Moreno forces the reader to think about the possible dangers and the accompanying ethical issues that co-occur with the great potential benefits of accelerating neuroscience advances.”
    –Alan I. Leshner, Chief Executive Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)