When actor Alan Alda was 11 years old he asked his teacher, “What is a flame?” Her reply: “It’s oxidation,” which was an explanation that was neither accessible nor interesting to him. It was this encounter that inspired him to create a competition to help 11-year-olds understand science in a way that makes sense to them.
“Allowing children to fail, to think they’re ‘dumb,’ is no longer acceptable,” said Dana Alliance member Sally Shaywitz at a recent Capitol Hill briefing on what neuroscience can tell us about educating special needs children.
Shaywitz, co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, joined fellow panelists Dana Alliance member Martha Denckla and Damien Fair for a discussion that addressed the importance and the difficulty of early detection of learning disorders such as dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As reported by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS):
The Dana Foundation is happy to announce a new resource available on its YouTube channel–a compilation of brain science videos featuring Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (DABI) neuroscientists on their fields of expertise.
DABI members are prominent neuroscientists from around the world, who have pledged their commitment to advancing public awareness and education about the progress and promise of brain research. With over 350 Alliance members, it can be hard to keep track of the latest in their areas of research. This collection of videos will make the information more accessible to the public.
In this series, there are 87 playlists dedicated to a diverse range of topics in neuroscience (i.e. dementia, stress, neural plasticity, etc.), and each is populated with videos featuring DABI members. The videos are dated from 2010 to the present day, and new content will be posted as it becomes available.
In addition to being a comprehensive resource for brain science information, this series serves as a celebration of the work done by neuroscientists around the world.
As editor of Cerebrum, the online neuroscience journal for The Dana Foundation, a primary function of my role is to invite some of the world’s top neuroscientists to write articles (with citations) to explain the latest developments in their specialty areas to lay readers. If they agree to the assignment, I encourage them to use conversational language, anecdotes, storytelling, and their own voice in communicating what are often complex and hard-to-explain topics: tau protein, grid cells, circadian rhythm, and stem cells—to name just a few. Sometimes they get it; more often they do not. Continue reading