Fall Council Roundup
During its annual fall meeting at Neuroscience 2013, SfN Council met with committees to discuss key accomplishments and future directions in programming and services.
Council reviewed a successful annual meeting, which surpassed 30,000 attendees, included a rich scientific program, and provided strong revenue for the Society’s ongoing activities. The Financial Management Cluster reported continued fiscal strength with strong investments, record-breaking exhibit numbers, and increases in subscriptions to The Journal of Neuroscience. These successes offset some budget pressures from lower membership numbers. Council approved the creation of a Strategic Investment Fund, which will draw up to one percent from reserves for the next three years to support endeavors that further the mission and enhance member value. The first funded initiative is the creation of a new, open access, online-only, rapid publication journal, which is expected to launch as early as fall 2014.
With regard to membership engagement and professional development & training, Council discussed expanding selected programs to serve more members. A renewal application for the Neuroscience Scholars Program, which serves underrepresented neuroscience researchers, will be submitted to NINDS in January 2014, and Council reviewed the new program design, which will preserve the program’s historic strengths while introducing new online strategies to engage more scientists. A new Latin American training program, supported by the Grass Foundation, will similarly expand the reach of program. To support these and other future online activities, Council approved funding for a new online member program strategy and platform. Set to launch as early as late 2014, it will centralize training resources, expand networking opportunities, and support new programs that can engage members worldwide. Council also approved efforts to compile and share best practices in neuroscience training among departments and programs, as well as new chapters in Nigeria, Tennessee, and Florida.
In the Public Outreach Cluster, Council approved a major media campaign to support biomedical research, a new young advocates program, and funding for Canadian advocacy. Leadership discussed the success and growth of BrainFacts.org, which surpassed 2 million page views worldwide, and reviewed SfN’s contribution to new U.S. science teaching standards, which for the first time include neuroscience.
Council also discussed progress on the development of an online, multimedia history of SfN’s first 25 years.