SfN Council Connects with NIH, Volunteers
The SfN Council met on April 20–21 at SfN’s headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C. During this spring meeting, Council renewed an advocacy agreement with a partner organization, reviewed the results of the recent member survey and a proposed slate of committee member replacements, and prepared for Neuroscience 2023.
Spring Committee Updates
SfN hosted its 17th annual Hill Day virtually from March 6–8. Forty participants met with 73 different Congressional Offices representing 27 states to advocate for budget increases to NIH, NSF, BRAIN Initiative, and the VA Medical and Prosthetic Research program. Hill Day also served as an opportunity for participants to raise visibility of neuroscience Congressional Caucuses and assemble support for animals in research.
Council approved the execution of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SfN and the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) to support activities, initiatives, and financial commitments between the organizations. SfN will continue to support FENS in its advocacy efforts. The Government and Public Affairs Committee endorsed the renewal of this partnership with FENS to continue developing advocacy efforts and resources around the world.
A working group of members serving on SfN’s committees developed questions for the 2023 membership survey. Council reviewed the results of the survey and key takeaways from the data. They then had an initial discussion around the trends and issues affecting the Society and the field that were identified by the survey. Council also heard from business committees about ways the survey results shaped their discussions. This concluded the work of the Survey Working Group formed in the spring and the group was dissolved.
The Committee on Committees (CoC) proposed a slate of new committee members to begin their service in November 2023. The CoC ensures that the volunteer leadership of the Society is reflective of SfN’s diverse membership and is committed to proposing new methods of increasing the number of members participating in committee work. Council approved the slate of incoming committee members. Council also reviewed the election slate developed by the Nominating Committee for incoming officers and councilors. The SfN Officers & Councilors Election was held May 10–23 and the results were announced in June.
Annual Meeting With NIH Institute Directors
Council met with directors representing institutes from the NIH for the 21st consecutive year. This is part of an ongoing dialogue representing the organizations’ shared commitment to supporting the neuroscience community and advancing scientific discovery. The NIH directors and SfN councilors had a strong discussion on topics such as ways to best support early career researchers, updates on the BRAIN Initiative, and how institutions can support researchers using animal models.
Neuroscience 2023 will be an in-person meeting held in Washington, D.C., from November 11–15, 2023. The Program Committee and staff reviewed member feedback with the goal of building upon the success of Neuroscience 2022. The Virtual Component Advisory Group (VCAG), formed in November 2022 to review the presentation and format of the virtual component, made several recommendations for Neuroscience 2023. For example, all lectures will be live-streamed, as well as two symposia/minisymposia rooms. Virtual posters will require a PDF upload, while a video will be optional. The VCAG also identified areas of improvement for the moderated Q&A lecture format. All top-of-the-program sessions except Meet-the-Experts will continue to use moderated Q&A. There will be no moderated Q&A for nanosymposia. There will be microphones in the audience for all non-lecture events. Questions will continue to be submitted through the Neuroscience 2023 Mobile App for both in-person and virtual attendees. SfN will provide clear guidance and training to moderators on how to use the Q&A feature. Council approved the virtual component recommendations as presented.
Council also reviewed health and safety measures for Neuroscience 2023. SfN staff have continued to track Washington, D.C., safety recommendations throughout the year. Council voted that vaccinations and masks would not be required for attendees at Neuroscience 2023.