Neuroscientists Heading to San Diego This Week


sfn-2016We’re heading off to attend the Society for Neuroscience’s Annual Meeting, which starts on Saturday in San Diego. Some 30,000 neuroscientists and others will converge on San Diego Convention Center–a city’s worth of brain-lovers! Before SfN’s official start, we’ll be taking in the annual meeting of the International Neuroethics Society (INS), at San Diego’s Central Library. Stay tuned for posts and photos from both. Here’s some of what we’re looking forward to. Some events are open to the public, where noted.

Thursday, Nov. 10

5 pm to 7 pm (Pacific time): “Meet Tomorrow’s World: A Meeting on the Ethics of Emerging Technologies,” an INS public forum where an international group of experts will explore the ethics of tech from fitness monitors to social media, asking questions and offering opinions at a conversation in the round. Come on by if you’re in San Diego: This event, at the Central Library, is free, but please register.

Friday, Nov. 11

We’ll be at the whole day of INS events at the Central Library, but are especially interested in the 4:30 pm discussion of how clinicians and reporters might use narratives—personal accounts of patients’ hopes and concerns about using medical tech, particularly deep brain stimulation (DBS). Neuroscientist and Dana Alliance member Helen Mayberg, philosopher Sara Goering, and reporter Mo Costandi will speak and then join in audience discussion.

Saturday, Nov. 12

11 am to 1 pm: Shekhar Saxena of the World Health Organization will give the annual “non-scientist” talk, part of an SfN series called Dialogues Between Neuroscience and Society. He plans to talk about the current state of global mental health and the potential for science to help improve health at the level of populations. This is a public talk; to check it out in person go to the Attendee Services counter in the Sails Pavilion of the convention center. In past years, SfN also has released video of these talks, so stay tuned for that. The talk will be in the Convention Center, Ballroom 20.

3 pm to 4:30 pm: Brain Awareness Campaign Event: Check out posters and presentations on how to run great Brain Awareness Week (BAW) events and meet the winners of the Brain Awareness Video Contest, the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience award, and the National Science Olympiad. Also hear from Susana Martinez-Conde, director of the Laboratory of Integrative Neuroscience at SUNY, executive producer of the Best Illusion of the Year Contest, co-author of the book “Sleights of Mind,” and winner of the 2014 SfN Science Educator Award. (Find out more about who won this year’s award on Monday evening.) Convention Center, Room 16.

Sunday, Nov. 13

1 pm to 3 pm: This year’s Social Issues Roundtable is “Concussion: From the Players’ Experience to the Future of Research.” Panelists will describe recent findings, diagnosis, and long-term consequences of single and multiple impacts to the brain. Convention Center, Room 10

Tuesday, Nov. 15

3 pm to 5 pm: This year’s Public Advocacy Forum is “Art, Music, and the Brain: How the Arts Influence Us from Youth through Maturity.” Panelists will describe how and why the arts have such deep effects on us, and posit how we might use creativity to be healthier and more productive all our lives. There’s a good chunk of time for audience questions, as well. This is a public talk; to check it out in person go to the Attendee Services counter in the Sails Pavilion of the convention center. Convention Center, Room 10.

Lots of folks last year were active on Twitter, and I expect the same this year; follow along via hashtags #SfN16 and #INS16.

– Nicky Penttila

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