braiNY Events in NYC Next Week

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Want to touch a real human brain? Take a yoga class and then learn about how meditation affects the brain? Or perhaps a brain-themed game night is more up your alley? Why not do all three?!

Next week is Brain Awareness Week (March 14-20), and to celebrate the brain, more than 20 fun and fascinating public events will be held around New York City, coordinated by the New York Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, under the name “braiNY.” Most of the events are free; some do require purchasing a ticket.

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Neuroscience Presented with Creative Flair

Creativity (2).jpgWith Brain Awareness Week just over one week away, there are all kinds of contests taking place to help spread the word about the importance of brain research. Some combine creative flair with neuroscience to produce impressive results!

Last September, we announced the winners of the 2015 Brain Awareness Video Contest, sponsored by the Society for Neuroscience (SfN). The contest asks participants to “explain a neuroscience concept so that a broad audience can understand the wonders of the brain and mind.” Continue reading

Empowering Female Neuroscientists

MDierssen-1When Mara Dierssen started her career as a neuroscientist, she often encountered gender discrimination. Working in a male-dominated field, she had to combat stereotypes about passivity and leadership. Lacking a female role model, she now realizes that she was unaware of many of the scientific community’s “unwritten rules,” like how to receive funding for projects, do interviews, and publish findings.

Years later, Dierssen’s strong drive to succeed, intense passion for neuroscience, and work ethic have helped her become  a senior scientist at the Centre for Biomedical Research, president of the Spanish Society for Neuroscience, a member of the European Dana Alliance, as well as a mother of four children. Dierssen, who recently talked about gender and neuroscience in an interview with the Society for Neuroscience (SfN),  has become a role model for today’s young female neuroscientists, not only because of her achievements as a neuroscientist, but also through her dedication to public outreach and gender equality.

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2015 Brain Awareness Reception at SfN

This year’s annual Brain Awareness Reception took place in Chicago’s massive McCormick Place on Saturday, as part of an eventful program created by the Society for Neuroscience (SfN). The main floor was filled with rows of more than 600 exhibitors, showcasing new tools, technologies, and publishing opportunities for communicating science. Meanwhile, the upstairs space was dedicated entirely to celebrating the work done by students, postdocs, scientists (several Dana Alliance members included), educators, and general brain enthusiasts who devote their time to public outreach efforts.

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Kathleen Roina, director of BAW (right), and Amanda Bastone (left) handing out free educational resources at the reception.

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E. Paul Zehr Receives SfN Science Educator Award

EPZ.courtesyEPZEach year, the Society for Neuroscience recognizes outstanding neuroscientists who have strongly added to public education and awareness about the field. The Dana Foundation sponsors these awards.

At the University of Victoria, E. Paul Zehr, PhD, extends our knowledge of the neural control of movement and neural plasticity after stroke. In addition to establishing a community seminar series called Café Scientifique,  Dr. Zehr reaches many audiences through live presentations, radio and TV, as well as writing. His pop-sci books—Becoming Batman, Inventing Iron Man, Project Superhero and, coming in 2016, Something Superhuman—use the ideas of superheroes to explain scientific concepts. Continue reading

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