BAW Across the Continents 2013: South America

Now that we’ve looked at Africa, Asia, Australia and North America, it is time to travel south for Day Five of Brain Awareness Week. Six countries in South America are participating in Brain Awareness Week this year: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Baw south americaVolunteers and participants in Rio De Janiero, BAW 2012

Brazil plays host to 80 of the 100 or so events in the whole of the continent. This is the second year the celebrations are  coordinated on a national level in Brazil under the title “National Brainweek Brazil.” National Brainweek Brazil will include workshops, exhibits, lectures, classroom visits, art shows, and lab tours throughout the country. Also this year is the first ever Rio de Janeiro Brain Bee. It is great to see how the International Brain Bee competition and global Brain Awareness Week campaign continue to grow together. Brazilians are also creative in their venues, often using public locations for brain awareness exhibits. In some cities brain exhibits and workshops will be in large city parks, and in Rio de Janeiro local partners are taking neuroscience to the beach: beachgoers at the famous Copacabana beach will be learning about their brains through hands-on activities and demonstrations while taking in the rays. Sounds like my type of Brain Awareness Week event!

Bringing information on the brain to the public is a common theme throughout South America. In the Argentine city of Cordoba, BAW partners will set up interactive activities and exhibits on how the brain and perception construct our “reality.” In Uruguay, brain enthusiasts will be holding lectures and brain games for kids in public plazas throughout the city of Montevideo. Additionally, enthusiastic graduate students plan to visit eight towns scattered throughout the country to present lectures on the brain. Lastly, in Peru, a partnership between organizations and local health care center professionals will sponsor a three-hour educational workshop on basic brain structure and function, including games and cartoons for children living in the shantytown Neuva Caledonia II in the city of Chorrillos. We are proud that our Brain Awareness Week partners are bringing information on the brain to those who would normally have little or no access to it.

– Simon Fischweicher

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