SfN Statement on Hurricane and Natural Disaster Devastation to Scientists
Society for Neuroscience (SfN) President Eric Nestler, MD, PhD, released this statement today responding to the devastation in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria as well as other natural disasters that have caused significant damage and disrupted the lives of many scientists and the general public in all of the affected regions:
"Puerto Rico sustained massive devastation from Hurricane Maria in September. The full extent of the damage and casualties are still being assessed, but it’s clear that the effects of this catastrophic storm, right on the heels of Hurricane Irma, will continue to disrupt life on the island for many months and years. Our fellow neuroscientists and students have been greatly affected by this disaster, which caused damage to much of the island’s infrastructure. Currently, there are food and water shortages in some areas, and in the longer-term, infrastructure and equipment, including laboratories at institutions and universities, must be repaired and rebuilt. Our colleagues will feel the effects of this disaster for a long time.
Hurricane Maria regrettably is the latest in a recent string of destructive natural disasters to affect our region, including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and the earthquake in Mexico. In the wake of these events, SfN is setting up an online discussion forum where SfN members affected by these disasters can ask for help — for themselves or their institutions — and where other members can offer assistance directly. SfN will also be donating funds to assist with the reconstruction of neuroscience facilities that may have been damaged in any of these areas.
While there are significant challenges ahead, times like these bring out the best in the global community of scientists. By taking these steps, SfN seeks to do its part to help those scientists and institutions in need of assistance."
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 37,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.