SfN Council Sets Plans for Neuroscience 2021
At two meetings in June, SfN Council formally approved the plan to move forward with Neuroscience 2021 as a “hybrid” event, described as “One Meeting, Two Experiences.” Council made its decision after reviewing the latest public health guidance related to the pandemic from the U.S. and international health authorities, and after Chicago formally announced its plans to reopen for large conventions and conferences in the summer.
On April 22 and 23 and May 10, the SfN Council met over Zoom to review ongoing Society business, hear updates from the Scientific Publications Committee and Editors-in-Chief of JNeurosci and eNeuro, and review a proposed slate for replacements for committees.
In 2020, Council approved the Program Committee’s recommendation to move the abstract submission period to the summer. The Program Committee’s rationale for this shift was to offer potential presenters more time to finalize data they hope to bring to the SfN meeting and better accommodate ongoing developments in public health ordinances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 abstract submission period will run from Tuesday, July 6 through Thursday, July 15.
Council was joined by Marty Usrey, Chair of the Scientific Publications Committee; Marina Picciotto, Editor-in-Chief, JNeurosci; and Christophe Bernard, Editor-in-Chief, eNeuro to discuss SfN’s publications activities. During an extremely challenging year for scientific journals, SfN’s journal leadership maintained quality standards for publishing while working to increase readership and reduce barriers to submission. JNeurosci published a retrospective in honor of its 40th anniversary and eNeuro continues using its online blog to highlight published papers.
Council approved the slate for a new class of committee members to begin service in November 2021 as developed by the Committee on Committees (CoC). The CoC ensures that the volunteer leadership is representative of SfN’s diverse membership and continuously proposes new avenues for expanding member participation in committee work. Council would typically review the election slate developed by the Nominating Committee for incoming Officers & Councilors, but each member of Council accepted a one-year term extension in 2020 to provide continuity of leadership through the pandemic. This extension eliminates the need for an election in 2021. SfN will resume its election cycle for Council in the spring of 2022.
SfN received 199 total nominations for SfN’s awards and prizes in 2020, despite cancellation of the annual meeting. This is a record high number of submissions that represent a 37% increase from the previous year. A total of 26 winners were recognized through a virtual awards week in and SfN anticipates strong participation in the 2021 nomination cycle.