SfN Announces Winners of Brain Awareness Video Contest
For immediate release.
SFN ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF BRAIN AWARENESS VIDEO CONTEST
“People’s Choice” voting opens Sept. 29
Washington, DC — The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural SfN Brain Awareness Video Contest. The contest was launched in 2011 to encourage the creation of brief, engaging videos that educate and inspire the public about the brain and nervous system. Contest entries will also be eligible for the Brain Awareness People’s Choice award. Voting opens Sept. 29 and closes Oct. 15 at http://www.sfn.org/BAVideoContest, where the three winning videos can also be viewed.
The winning video, “The Treasure Hunt,” was created by Shiree Heath, a graduate student in Australia at the University of Queensland’s Language Neuroscience Laboratory. It focuses on aphasia, the loss of a person’s ability to speak or understand spoken or written language due to disease or injury of the brain. The animation tells of a child’s quest to uncover his grandfather’s “buried” words, much like a treasure hunt. Along the way, the “hunt” explains how the brain processes language and how that process goes awry in aphasia.
“The energy behind all the videos demonstrates the excitement people have for neuroscience, and the creativity that can be harnessed to educate about the brain. We were thrilled with the quality of all the submissions,” said Jim McNamara, chair of SfN’s Public Education and Communication Committee. “At a time when science is uncovering extraordinary new knowledge of how the brain functions, it is doubly important that scientific societies and others explore new ways to educate and engage the public,” he said.
The video contest is one of many ways the neuroscience community participates in the worldwide Brain Awareness campaign. Launched by the Dana Foundation in 1996, the global coalition of Brain Awareness partners now includes more than 2,000 universities, elementary and secondary schools, hospitals, patient groups, museums, government agencies, service organizations, and professional associations.
“Entering the competition was an opportunity to provide accessible information about aphasia, particularly for children,” Heath said. “Aphasia is a common and devastating consequence of stroke, but public awareness is low relative to other conditions with similar prevalence, such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. The video tells the personal story of those with aphasia and their families through the power of words — the very thing that these individuals have lost,” she said.
Second prize was awarded to Tim Warlow of the University of Texas, for “Brain Brain, the Magical Fruit,” and third prize to Julia Hill and Natalia Rozas of the University of Texas, Houston, for “Synaptic Plasticity.”
Cash prizes will be provided to the creators of the top three videos, plus recognition at SfN’s annual meeting, Neuroscience 2011. With more than 30,000 attendees, the meeting is the world’s largest source of emerging news on brain science and health. The first place winner also receives a travel award to attend Neuroscience 2011, held this year in Washington, DC.
For more information about the Brain Awareness campaign or video contest, visit www.sfn.org/BAVideoContest.