Neuroscientists protest Human Brain Project

BY Ariel Min  July 7, 2014 at 3:42 PM EDT

More than 100 leading neuroscientists protested the $1.6 billion Human Brain Project in an open letter Monday. The project, the scientists argued, will waste money and harm the field of neuroscience.

The Human Brain Project, largely funded by the European Union, launched in 2013 with a 10-year plan to simulate the functioning of the human brain on a supercomputer.

The collaborators of the Human Brain Project introduce themselves and the venture.

Even though more than 80 European and international research institutions signed up for the project, several researchers refused to join, the Guardian reports. Some claimed that it’s too premature to simulate the human brain in a computer – which will eventually waste time and money.

Henry Markram, head of the Human Brain Project at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology in Lausanne, said the project would include the work of some 100,000 neuroscientists worldwide, and that the protesters didn’t understand the venture.

E.U. spokesman Ryan Heath said it was too early to decide whether the project is a success and that the organization will closely review the progress each year.