September 17 - A step in the right direction: An external mediator called in to address HBP problems

We were pleased to learn that the European Commission has taken the extraordinary step of naming an outside mediator to address the serious issues raised internally within the Human Brain Project and externally by neuroscientists who signed an open letter to the EC last June. It will be critical that the mediator consults carefully with European neuroscientists both within and outside the HBP as he conducts his duties. Only this can ensure that the governance and the scientific goals of the HBP are modified so as to secure wide participation in and partnering with the HBP. A neuroscience initiative that lacked the best European neuroscientists would certainly fall far short of the aims of the Flagship programs. It remains to be seen whether this process will be able to accomplish the profound changes that will be required to regain the confidence of the community, but it is encouraging to see that the EC has taken a step in the right direction.

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