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.) Continue reading

Sound Health: Shaping Our Children’s Lives Through Music Engagement

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For the second year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts spent a weekend exploring the connections between music, the brain, and humanity. A piece of their ongoing “Sound Health” partnership, the events at the Center this past weekend focused on how important the arts are to children’s development, both experiencing art and practicing and producing it. [See also our report and KC videos from last year’s event.]

The idea partnership came up in conversations between NIH director Francis Collins and renowned soprano and Kennedy Center artistic advisor Renée Fleming, and they led the chorus of brain experts and musical prodigies starting with a conversation and concert on Friday. Collins also announced a new program that will soon offer $5 million in research grants to study the effects of the arts on the brain, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

All the Saturday events are available as webcasts—including a drumming circle led by Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart! They are all worth a watch or two, with engaging scientists talking interspersed with great musicians performing. Together they add up to more than seven hours, so take your time. Many have small sections where the audience can participate; if you really want to get your rhythm on, jump down to the Interactive Drum Circle recording and have at it for a good 60 minutes.

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A Guide to Pursuing a Neuroscience Career

The Dana Foundation promotes a lot of resources designed for young students in hopes of inspiring them to want to learn more about the brain as they move up the ranks of grade school. But what if you’ve already been inspired and are now looking for practical ways to prepare for a neuroscience career? While there is certainly no “one way” to achieve this, we want to share a few resources that can help point you in the right direction.

The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) recently published an article on BrainFacts.org (a great resource in itself) with tips for students on how to jumpstart a career in neuroscience. Here are just a few points mentioned:

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SfN Launches New Brain Facts Book

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Credit: Society for Neuroscience

Interested in learning more about how your brain works? Whether you’re looking for information about psychiatric disorders, the developing brain, addiction, or other brain topics, the Brain Facts book by the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) has got you covered. Produced in partnership with The Kavli Foundation and the Gatsby Foundation, Brain Facts gives an overview of the brain and nervous system, covering a variety of important topics in understandable language. Recently, SfN launched the eighth edition of the book, which was scientifically reviewed by nine members of the Dana Alliance, among others, to make sure the information is as credible and up-to-date as possible.

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2018 Brain Awareness Video Contest

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Thanks to a growing Brain Awareness Week partnership, we know there are many people out there who are passionate about educating the public about the brain. The Brain Awareness Video Contest, sponsored by the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), provides a wonderful opportunity to reach even more people, and to develop something unique and creative.

Due June 14, these videos must describe a neuroscience concept in less than five minutes, in a fun and captivating way. Anyone can enter! And on top of the sense of accomplishment, the top three winners and the People’s Choice winner receive cash prizes. The first-place winner will also receive a free trip to this year’s SfN annual meeting in sunny San Diego, where the video will be screened at the Brain Awareness Reception.

For contest details, visit the BrainFacts.org website, run by SfN.

Good luck!

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