Brain Awareness Week 2018

Guest post by Urooj Ansari, Social Media Chair at Be Brainy NYC

In 2012, Be Brainy NYC, the Greater NYC Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, held its first Brain Awareness Week. Launched by Ho Yu of Columbia University, the chapter was expanded by Heather McKellar of NYU, Paula Croxson of Mount Sinai, Kelley Remole of Columbia University, Ted Altschuler of Baruch College, and Heather Bowling, formerly of NYU. The earliest members, graduate school friends and colleagues from their respective institutions, met at the Dana Foundation’s office to organize their first events.


Six years later, Be Brainy NYC is still true to its original mission of bringing brain science to the public. With a variety of events beginning next week, individuals from every age group and background imaginable will find activities in the city where they can learn about the squishy two-pound mass encased within their skulls.

One of the first events this year, and the newest one on the calendar, is the “Rap Guide to Consciousness.” With the use of hip hop comedy, “peer-reviewed rapper” Baba Brinkman will explore consciousness in an event for adults. The show will be held every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night through April at the Soho Playhouse.

On Sunday, March 4, join Jonathan Rosenthal for NeuroYoga at the Dharma Yoga Center. Folks of all ages can learn about the biological changes to the brain when doing yoga, focusing specifically on why yoga is effective in bringing mental sharpness and “peace of mind.” Following the yoga session, attendees can join a lecture and discussion.


If you’re an adult over the age of 21, come to Story Collider on Tuesday, March 6, for personal storytelling about brain awareness at the Lower East Side speakeasy Caveat. Hosted by writer Erin Barker and neuroscientist Paula Croxson, you’ll hear stories from author Matt Dicks, educator Nisse Greensburg, and Moth Storyslam winner Sandi Marx.

On Wednesday March 7, head downtown to NYU’s Grey Art Gallery in Washington Square, for an opportunity to view the “The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramon y Cajal” exhibit. In conjunction to the exhibit, attendees can attend a drawing workshop led by Heather McKellar, viewing brain tissue samples through microscopes and rendering what they see.


On Wednesday, March 7 at the Learning Lab in the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, KnowScience will host a talk, “Love: It’s All in Your Head,” by Dr. Bianca Jones Marlin. Geared towards parents and parents-to-be, Marlin will explain how a parent’s brain changes with a newborn baby, the science behind the parent-child relationship, and how the brain adapts to care for a newborn baby.

On March 16, get a sense of brain anatomy by learning about the different parts of the brain, at the New York Hall of Science. See demonstrations on how the brain uses its different parts to navigate its environment.

On March 17, BioBus, a 40-foot laboratory on wheels, will be parked on Clayton Powell Boulevard and open to the public! Visitors will be guided by neuroscientists through various brain displays, and are encouraged to ask questions about the brain.

These are just a few brainy highlights of what’s happening in New York City in the next few weeks. Be sure to visit the Be Brainy NYC calendar for more New York events–many of which are free and open to the public!

One response

  1. For anyone interested, there’s an educational documentary film ( ), premiered at the Johns Hopkins School of Education in 2017, covering how three teachers resort to leveraging brain science to break through the boredom and disinterest of their students. Explores the personal journeys leading these teachers to use a neuroscience-based teaching model, and shows the model in action within their locales / student age brackets (Roland Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore, Maryland; a high school in upstate New York, and a community college in Western Pennsylvania), Grey Matters touches on the core concepts of brain-based education and the intimacy with which some students and teachers respond to it.

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