Evens Foundation
Living together harmoniously in Europe

Evens Science Prize 2016 Award Ceremony and lecture

Together with the laureates and the British Academy, the Evens Foundation organized a Scientific Meeting and Prize Lecture on the occasion of Evens Science Prize Award Ceremony on Thu 6 Jul 2017.

A team of four researchers from London and Brussels were awarded the Evens Science Prize 2016 for their research on how coercion changes the sense of agency in the human brain.

On the occasion of the award ceremony of the prize, a half-day meeting followed by a lecture and prize-giving, convened a small group of experts, working in neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, politics and law. Each speaker approached the problems of personal autonomy from their own disciplinary perspective, but the meeting drew out far-reaching implications of their thinking for how we understand ourselves, as individuals and as societies.

Please find the audio-recording of the event here.

Programme Thursday, 6th July 2017


Scientific Meeting (14:00-17:30)

Chris Frith FBA
, Emeritus Professor in Neuropsychology, Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London
Genevra Richardson FBA, Professor of Law, King’s College London

Frederike Beyer, Research Fellow, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London
Jonathan Wolff, Blavatnik Chair in Public Policy in association with Wolfson College, Oxford University.


Prize lecture and award ceremony (18:00-19:00)

Personal autonomy is central to modern visions of human nature.  Individuals and societies emphasize goals and values such as independence, freedom from coercion and unchosen influence, and self-control. But is full personal autonomy possible, or even desirable?  Is our concept of personal autonomy compatible with growing scientific understanding of deterministic neurobiological processes that cause human behaviour?  How and when can personal autonomy be balanced against the needs of society as a whole, and how can it contribute to cooperative social interactions?

Axel Cleeremans
, Research Director Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (F.R.S.-FNRS), Professor Cognitive Psychology, Head of Consciousness, Cognition and Computation (CO3) Group and the Center for Research in Cognition & Neurosciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles
Patrick Haggard FBA, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London

The 2016 prize was awarded to Emilie Caspar, Julia Christensen, Axel Cleeremans and Patrick Haggard.