Press release

Mind Over Matter event debates ethics of brain donation

Who donates their brain to science? Where do these brains go and how are they used? At a free event at the Dana Centre in London tonight, an expert panel will debate the ethics and issues surrounding the practice of bodily donation and why it remains such a taboo subject.

Speakers include: Professor Carol Brayne, epidemiologist and public health physician at the University of Cambridge; Michael Parker, professor of bioethics and Director of the Ethox Centre; Dr Bronwyn Parry, social scientist at Queen Mary, University of London; and artist Ania Dabrowska.

The event accompanies the Wellcome Trust-funded 'Mind Over Matter' exhibition, a revolutionary photography exhibition that reveals the identity of brain donors for the first time, due to open at Shoreditch Town Hall on 12 October.

Ania Dabrowska, collaborating with Dr Parry, met some of Britain's oldest prospective brain donors to photograph them and interview them about their lives and involvement in brain research.

The groundbreaking exhibition features portrait photographs, appropriated archival photographs, projections and sound narratives from the 12 donors, alongside scientific artefacts and medical imagery from a brain bank laboratory. 'Mind Over Matter' draws back the veil of secrecy surrounding the practice of organ donation in celebration of those who elect to donate their brains after death for the purposes of neuroscientific research.

‘Mind Over Matter’ is supported by a Wellcome Trust People Award.

Mind Over Matter: A public talk
6 October 2011, 19.00-21.00
The Dana Centre, 65 Queen's Gate, London SW7 5HD

Mind Over Matter: The exhibition
12-23 October 2011
Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT
Mon-Fri 10.00-18.00, Sat-Sun 12.00-18.00
Free entry

Representing the Contentious: A Symposium
14 October 2011; 10.00-16.00
Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT
Tickets free, registration required

A one-day interdisciplinary symposium that will examine the complexities of creating and representing work, academic or artistic, that has the capacity to cause or provoke controversy, offence or condemnation.