Society for Neuroscience Announces Science Education and Outreach Awards
WASHINGTON, DC — The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) will honor the winners of the science education and outreach awards at Neuroscience 2014, SfN’s annual meeting and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.
“Engaging and educating the public about neuroscience research not only promotes understanding, inspires curiosity, and nurtures respect for the field, it acts as a seed for a future generation of scientists,” SfN President Carol Mason said. “I am honored to recognize these individuals who have dedicated such time, passion, and creativity to sharing neuroscience with others.”
Science Educator Award: Susana Martinez-Conde
SfN created the Science Educator Award in 2003 to recognize outstanding neuroscientists who have made significant contributions in promoting public education and awareness about the field. This year’s $5,000 prize was supported through a generous donation by the Dana Foundation.
In addition to being a leader in efforts to understand the neural bases of the visual experience, Susana Martinez-Conde, PhD, of the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center has written numerous popular science articles for such publications as The New York Times and Scientific American Mind as well as co-authored the international bestseller Sleights of Mind. She is credited with the success of such programs as “The Best Illusion of the Year” Contest (now in its 10th year), numerous international museum exhibits, and hundreds of public lectures on visual illusions to patrons of art and science museums and members of diverse professional organizations. She is particularly dedicated to promoting the interests of women and minorities in neuroscience and regularly participates in summer courses that encourage high school students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue science and medical careers.
Next Generation Award: Eileen S. Rodríguez-Tapia, Alexandra Colón-Rodríguez, and Chelsea Tiernan
Established in 2007, the Next Generation Award recognizes SfN chapter members who have made outstanding contributions to public communication, outreach, and education about neuroscience. The award honors individuals or teams at the predoctoral/postdoctoral level with a $300 honorarium and a $750 travel award to attend SfN’s annual meeting. Additionally, the recipients’ chapter receives $2,000 to continue outreach efforts in the coming year.
Predoctoral Next Generation Award winners Eileen S. Rodríguez-Tapia, Alexandra Colón-Rodríguez, and Chelsea Tiernan — all graduate students at Michigan State University — are being recognized for their development of an intensive one-day workshop for high school students and their teachers in Puerto Rico to increase awareness of neuroscience as a discipline and career option. In addition to offering hands-on experiments, the workshop serves as a recruitment tool for “Bridge Program in Neuroscience,” an existing program run through Michigan State University that prepares Puerto Rican undergraduate students for admission to neuroscience graduate programs.
Science Journalism Student Award: Jordan Gaines Lewis and Adam Hoffman
SfN’s Science Journalism Student Award encourages the pursuit of a career in science or medical journalism. This award gives students exposure to science journalism through attendance at the Society’s annual meeting. The two recipients receive an orientation on navigating and reporting on the meeting, an on-site mentor from a science or medical publication, and a $750 travel award.
Jordan Gaines Lewis is a graduate student in the neuroscience program at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine, where she studies the relationships between sleep quality, metabolism, and obesity in adolescents. Her work has appeared in Scientific American Mind, The Washington Post, and NBC News Health.
Adam Hoffman is a recent graduate of Brown University, where he received a BS in neuroscience. During his undergraduate career, he investigated a novel drug therapy for muscular dystrophy and worked as a staff writer for Brown’s daily newspaper, the Brown Daily Herald. He currently works as an assistant editor for Proto magazine.
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 40,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system. More information about the brain can be found at BrainFacts.org, a public information initiative of The Kavli Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and SfN.