Society for Neuroscience Membership
For immediate release.
NR-09-03 (sent 10/30/03). For more information, please call Dawn McCoy at 202-462-6688.
SOCIETY FOR NEUROSCIENCE MEMBERSHIP TOPS 34,000
WASHINGTON, DC, October 30 - The Society for Neuroscience passed 34,000 members this month, after reaching another all-time high last year. Membership growth is up 9 percent in 2003 and is up 20 percent over the past two years. The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is the world's largest organization of scientists dedicated to the study of the brain and nervous system.
“We are very encouraged to know that so many neuroscientists believe that the Society is an organization worth joining to help advance the field,” says SfN President Huda Akil.
Several new initiatives have accounted for membership growth. It is now easier to become an SfN member thanks to an online membership application form which allows an individual can become a member in time to submit an abstract for the fall annual meeting. Likewise, a rolling application deadline allows applicants to join throughout the year, rather than rushing to meet the spring and fall deadlines formerly in place. Under the rolling application deadline, SfN received 4,328 applications last year. Total SfN membership reached a record 31,206 members in 2002.
SfN’s membership committee recommended and helped implement several perks for members last year. Members are now given advance registration privileges for the annual meeting, allowing them to register for the meeting and secure hotel reservations a full week in advance of nonmembers. Members now receive The Journal of Neuroscience every week rather than semimonthly. And the Society has placed a renewed emphasis on professional development for members. In addition, the membership committee requested that annual meeting registration fees be frozen in 2002 and 2003, allowing members to receive a more significant discount than nonmembers
SfN's strategic plan, a member survey, and new initiatives have addressed members' concerns and have created a renewed sense of member involvement. As of July 2003, over 3,600 scientists; doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students; and affiliates had applied for SfN membership. Of these new applicants, 51 percent (1,836) were student members, reflecting the continued student interest in neuroscience and the commitment of our members to education.
The bylaws referendum of 2003 enacted two significant changes in membership policy. Addressing concerns of unequal benefits offered to foreign members, the new changes in the bylaws eliminate the categories of foreign and foreign student membership, granting all regular international members the same voting privileges as their North American counterparts. The recent bylaws revision also allows students at the undergraduate and graduate level to apply for student membership. In prior years, only doctoral students were eligible for student membership. This year, SfN received more than 5,000 applications for membership. Students make up 46 percent of all year 2003 applications.
Online voting, permitted for the first time under the new bylaws, has greatly expanded member participation in the Society's governance.
For more information, please call Dawn McCoy at 202-462-6688.