Brain Awareness Week: A Universe Unto Its Own
It’s time to start thinking about how you can help people explore the universe between their ears. Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is coming March 14-20. The global celebration, launched by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives in 1985 and a key outreach activity for SfN members, presents an opportunity to bring attention to brain science advances and advocate for science funding.
Last year, the Dana Foundation reported on neuroscientists from around the world who joined their peers in hosting nearly 450 brain awareness events. Neuroscience enthusiasts in Argentina and Nigeria each hosted six events in their countries. In Turkey, a song and dance workshop was just one of 20 events put on by BAW participants.
Only your imagination limits BAW activities. In the U.S. last year, participants brought brains to elementary school classrooms, hosted lab tours, conducted experiments, and led brain-related games. Participating institutions ran the gamut from research institutions such as North Carolina State University to the Columbia Neuroscience Society to Pueblo del Sol Elementary School.
Many SfN members and local chapters host activities in their communities during BAW, and several were on hand at a Neuroscience 2015 BAW event where they presented posters highlighting their outreach.
SfN Past President Steve Hyman reinforced the importance of outreach to the public. “Unless we engage society effectively our work will not be understood, it will not be supported, and, maybe even more important, we won’t necessarily reach the next generation of scientists and leaders,” Hyman said. “Brain Awareness Week, I think, is remarkable for its reach, its power to motivate, and I think it’s been effective in all of these venues.”
Celebrate with your peers across the field March 14-20 by taking part in BAW activities that raise the profile of brain science. Learn about the many ways you can participate in BAW and brain awareness activities year round from BrainFacts.org and the Dana Foundation. Make sure to check out the Dana Foundation calendar to find events happening in your community.