New Editor-in-Chief Takes Helm of BrainFacts.org
WASHINGTON, DC — John Morrison, PhD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai began his term on January 1 as editor-in-chief of BrainFacts.org, a public information initiative of The Kavli Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and the Society for Neuroscience. Morrison joins an editorial board composed of leading neuroscientists from across the globe in providing guidance on content development, ensuring scientific validity, and facilitating engagement from the scientific community.
“I look forward to working to develop a bigger and better BrainFacts.org,” Morrison said. “I believe that public science education may be the single most important thing scientists can do. I am thankful to Nick Spitzer, the inaugural editor-in-chief of BrainFacts.org, for helping to establish the site as an authoritative source of neuroscience information for the public.”
In less than three years, BrainFacts.org has helped transform the neuroscience field’s ability to share accurate and accessible information about the brain with a global public. Since launch, nearly 2.5 million people have accessed more than 5.25 million articles, images, and videos about the brain on BrainFacts.org. Nearly 50 percent of site traffic comes from outside the United States, with recent increases in access from India, Pakistan, and Mexico. Driving the site’s continued growth and innovation are an expanding presence on social media, an active blog led by SfN members, and emerging strategies for greater incorporation of multimedia content and engagement opportunities.
Morrison serves as professor of neuroscience, professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine, and dean of basic sciences and the graduate school of biomedical sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. His scientific work focuses on synaptic plasticity, the aging brain, and the synaptic basis of age-related cognitive decline. Morrison has a long history of leadership in the public communication of science, including engaging policymakers, educators, and patient groups, as well as a sustained interest in helping convey the importance of animal research. His volunteer service with SfN includes roles as councilor from 2010-2013 and chair of the three SfN committees dedicated to educating and engaging the public. Morrison served as chair of the Public Education and Communication Committee during the BrainFacts.org launch in 2012 and was a member of the advisory group that helped conceptualize BrainFacts.org and forge a relationship with the site’s founding partners.
“Given his passion for communicating about neuroscience, his longstanding leadership within the Society, and his history with BrainFacts.org, John Morrison is an ideal successor to Nick Spitzer, who accomplished much as the site’s inaugural editor-in-chief,” SfN President Steven Hyman said. “I am confident that John will lead an already exceptional editorial board to make BrainFacts.org even stronger and to enhance its already well-established reputation as a source for accurate, accessible, and engaging neuroscience information.”
BrainFacts.org is designed to:
Inform the public about exciting discoveries related to brain structure and function and dispel common “neuromyths.”
Provide science educators with access to almost 200 easy-to-use, fun, scientifically valid resources, including hands-on activities, videos, and lesson plans.
Explore growing understanding about the biological foundations of neurological and psychiatric diseases that affect about 1 billion people worldwide.
Spark dialogue about the progress, potential, and importance of neuroscience research.
Communicate accurate information about the responsible use of animals in research.
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.