We are excited to announce that UWIN visiting scientist Rafael Yuste has won the 2018 Eliasson Global Leadership Prize given by the Tällberg Foundation! Neuroscientist Rafael Yuste is a professor of Biological Sciences and director of the NeuroTechnology Center at Columbia University, and is currently a UWIN visiting scientist. Dr. Yuste is an expert on advanced optical methods for in vivo neural recording and additionally has contributed significantly in the area of single neuron biophysics. His laboratory analyses structure, dynamics and coding in cortex and in the cnidarian Hydra.
The Eliasson Global Leadership Prize honors recipients who embody the ideals of Jan Eliasson, a Swedish diplomat and former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. The foundation selects recipients whose work is “innovative, optimistic, courageous, rooted in universal values and global in implication.” In addition to Professor Yuste’s research in advanced optical methods for in vivo neural recording in an effort to understand how neural circuits in the cerebral cortex work, he has also placed an emphasis on scientific advocacy. In 2011, Yuste proposed a large scale neuroscience project which became the basis of US BRAIN Initiative, a 12 year proposal that currently involves over 500 labs and is working to understand the neural pathways in humans and animals. As this research progressed, Yuste expanded his work into the consequences of this research, considering the possible impacts of the convergence of neuroscience and artificial intelligence and advocated to add five “NeuroRights” in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The chairman of the Tällberg Foundation, Alan Stoga, said the Prize jury recognized Professor Yuste’s “commitment to thinking about human identity in more robust ways and his absolute urgency to encourage others to think deeply about the ethics and ethical implications of disruptive technology, particularly in neuroscience”