The forays into neuroscience afforded by President Obama's BRAIN Initiative will not be without ethical hurdles. This is practically a truism—some of the dirtiest ethical waters are those bridged by the brain sciences. And while it's easy to regard such discussions as afterthought, the newest report from the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues places them front and centre.

The sentiment is summarised on the Commission's website: "Integrating ethics explicitly and systematically into the relatively new field of contemporary neuroscience allows us to incorporate ethical insights into the scientific process and to consider societal implications of neuroscience research from the start."

So here's to hoping the preliminary discussions and reports actually breed action. I particularly appreciate the recommendation for "all advisory groups and funding review panels for neuroscience research to include a trained bioethicist." It's a little shocking that this isn't already the case.