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.

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BAW Partner Interview: Kelley Remole

This is the second in a series of Brain Awareness Week (BAW) partner interviews, in which partners share their BAW experiences and tips for planning successful events. Kelley Remole, Ph.D., is the director of neuroscience outreach at Columbia University and the co-president of the Greater NYC Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience.

Dana Foundation: Last year marked the first time that the Greater New York City Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience coordinated a Brain Awareness Week program with multiple partners under the umbrella name of “braiNY.” What inspired this initiative?

Kelley Remole: A lot of pieces came together to make the public, coordinated events of braiNY seem like a logical step. The Greater New York City Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience had been quietly growing for several years, and a number of scientists at institutions around the city started taking a serious interest in engaging the public with science. I was newly in a position at Columbia University where I could make something bigger happen at the institution, and I knew people at other universities including NYU and Mount Sinai who could likely do the same. By word of mouth, and with the encouragement of the Dana Foundation, this small handful of scientists grew into the group of dedicated individuals that put together the inaugural year of braiNY events in 2013. I don’t think any of us knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into, only that it was fun and that these events filled a need for scientist-driven public engagement about science.

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Greater NY Chapter Wins SfN Chapter-of-the-Year Award

Congratulations to our friends at the Greater New York Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience for winning the Chapter-of-the-Year Award! The award was presented to Chapter President Ho Yu, Ph.D., and Chapter Vice President Kelley Remole, Ph.D., at the Society’s annual meeting in San Diego last week.

SfN Chapter AwardHo Yu and Kelley Remole accept the Chapter-of-the-Year Award last week. (Credit: Paula Croxson)

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