Neuroscientists Heading to San Diego This Week – and So Are We

We’re heading off to attend the Society for Neuroscience’s Annual Meeting, Neuroscience 2018, which starts on Saturday in San Diego. More than 30,000 neuroscientists and their friends will converge on the San Diego Convention Center–a city’s worth of brain-lovers! Before SfN’s official start, we’ll also be taking in the annual meeting of the International Neuroethics Society (INS), held at the San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Boulevard. Stay tuned for posts and photos and more from both events.

Here’s some of what we’re looking forward to. **NOTE: If you’re nearby, three of the events I’ve listed (the ones with boldface type) are free and open to the public—come by and say hi! **

Thursday, Nov. 1

ins horizontalWe’ll be at the whole day of INS events at San Diego Central Library, with topics including digitally decoding brain and behavior, managing neuroinformation to protect identity, and deep brain stimulation and sense of self. Follow along via Twitter hashtags #neuroethics and  #INS2018.

5:30 pm to 7 pm (Pacific time): “My Brain Made Me Buy It: The Neuroethics of Advertising,” a public forum opened by Carl Marci, who will describe how advertising techniques based on big data are challenging social and ethical boundaries. Then he’ll join researchers Read Montague, Uma Karmarker, and Steve Hyman in deeper discussion. Come on by if you’re in the area: This event, part of the INS meeting at San Diego Central Library, is free, but please register. (There will be a short reception afterward.)

Friday, Nov. 2

We’ll be at more INS talks at San Diego Central Library, following topics including genetics, behavior, and society; brain “surrogates”; and values, science, and public policy towards the opioid epidemic. Follow along via Twitter hashtags #neuroethics and #INS2018.

Saturday, Nov. 3

patmetheny11 am to 1 pm: Legendary jazz guitarist Pat Metheny will give SfN’s annual “non-scientist” free public talk, part of a series called Dialogues Between Neuroscience and Society that explores how neuroscience intersects with the world around us. On the topic “Music and the Brain,” Metheny will chat with a panel of SfN members about music’s effects on emotions and memory, how creativity may work, and roles for music in healing.

To check it out in person, go to the Attendee Services area (street side) of the convention center; bring photo ID. In past years, SfN also posted video of these talks, so stay tuned for that. The talk will be in the Convention Center’s giant Ballroom 20, with overflow in Hall A.

2:30 pm to 4 pm: Brain Awareness Campaign Event: Check out posters and presentations on how to run great Brain Awareness Week 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 Bill Griesar and Jeff Leak, the founders of NW Noggin, “a robust, creative, and largely volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that brings scientists, artists, and students of all ages together to share their expertise and excitement about neuroscience.” Convention Center, Room 16.

Sunday, Nov. 4 [Daylight Savings Time ends; remember to “fall back” 1 hour!]

8:30am to 11 am: “What We Know, What We Don’t Know: How Can We Better Understand Alzheimer’s Disease to Develop Effective Treatments?” A Basic-Translational-Clinical Roundtable organized by Dana Alliance member David Holtzman, this session will review where we stand on potential biomarkers and the main molecules that play a role in the disease, new diagnostic methods, and treatments. (Can earn CME credit for this session.) Convention Center, Room 10.

sfnmeeting20181 pm to 3 pm: This year’s Social Issues Roundtable is “Solitary Confinement: Psychological and Neurobiological Insights Into Isolation.” Panelists will include a neurobiologist, a psychologist, a physician, a lawyer, and a person held in solitary confinement for 29 years. Convention Center, Room 10.

1:30 pm to 4 pm: “Telling Stories of Science,” led by Dana Alliance member Wendy Suzuki, is a minisymposium that will include talks on the science of storytelling and why and how to tell stories, as well as a chance to hear three scientists tell their stories, showing in real time how storytelling can engage an audience and effectively share science to many types of people. Sadly, this overlaps with the Alzheimer’s roundtable, so meeting attendees will have a tough choice to make. Convention Center, Room 6E.

Monday, Nov. 5

10 am to 11:10 am: The Kopf Lecture on Neuroethics is “When Is an Adolescent an Adult?: Implications for Justice Policy.” Dana Alliance member BJ Casey will review the series of Supreme Court findings that changed the status of adolescents and describe emerging evidence that suggests that young adults (ages 18 to 21) may, too, be immature “in ways that are relevant to justice policy.” Convention Center, Ballroom 20.

Tuesday, Nov. 6 – [ELECTION DAY in the US; please remember to vote early if you will be in San Diego and not home on this day.]

8:30 am to 11 am: “Neuroprosthetic Devices: A Patient’s Perspective on Brain Computer Interfaces,” a chance to hear from the people who volunteer for such surgeries, including time-intensive research simply for scientific knowledge. Participants will talk about the challenges and benefits of participating in brain-computer interface research, how it has affected their lives, and what tech improvements they think researchers should figure out next. Convention Center, Room 10.

2:30 pm to 4 pm: This year’s Public Advocacy Forum is “Advocacy in Four Dimensions,” offering a “broad perspective of how advocacy occurs on different levels, across career stages, and within various industries and a chance to learn the tools necessary to become active, sustained advocates.” This is a free public forum; to attend in person, check in at the Attendee Services counter, on the street side of the convention center; bring photo ID. Convention Center, Room 10.

5:15 pm: Just ahead of the Presidential lecture, SfN will announce the winner of the 2018 Science Educator Outreach Award. Dana Foundation sponsors this award; look for a Q&A with this year’s winner here on our blog. Convention Center, Ballroom 20.

Lots of folks last year were active on Twitter, and I expect the same this year; follow along via hashtags #SfN18. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, @dana_fdn, on Facebook, danafoundation, and on Instagram, danafoundation.

– Nicky Penttila

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