Proposals for the 2018 Social Issues Roundtable

The proposal submission site is now closed. 

Frances Jensen, MD - Chair, 2018 Public Education and Communication Committee

The Public Education and Communication Committee (PECC) invites the membership to submit proposals for the Social Issues Roundtable (SIR) to be held at Neuroscience 2018 in San Diego, CA. Submitters should consider neuroscience topics that have an impact on society, particularly in terms of ethics or social awareness. The Committee seeks to select a topic with broad appeal that touches on a timely social issue. Unless recent developments have occurred, topics appearing in the past three years will be less favorably considered. On the other hand, the principal argument in favor of a topic should not be that it has not been represented for many years.  The titles of the past three years’ SIRs are as follows:

  • 2017Engaging Neuroscientists in Dialogue With Religious Communities 
  • 2016Concussion: From the Players' Experience to the Future of Research
  • 2015: The Income Achievement Gap: Insights from Cognitive Neuroscience

Areas addressed include:


It is required that you name in your proposal a chair (perhaps yourself) who has already agreed to be responsible for the SIR and three to five speakers who have also agreed to participate. The chair must be a member of SfN. Speakers may be SfN members or nonmembers. The chair’s responsibilities include entering submission requirements for the entire session and making sure that all speakers have returned necessary logistical and programming information to SfN. Please note that during the submission and review process, the proposer (if different than the chair) will be the primary contact. After acceptance into the annual meeting program, the chair becomes the primary contact and is responsible for relaying any and all important information to and from the speakers.


The Society for Neuroscience will provide the SIR chair and speakers with complimentary registration, round-trip economy class airfare, and two nights’ hotel stay at one of the annual meeting headquarters hotels.

When to Put It Together

PECC selects the SIR in March, in time to include the final title in the Preliminary Program. Your proposal, therefore, must be submitted by the submission deadline of 5 p.m. ET, Monday, February 12, 2018. This means that it should be well-developed in design, particularly in regard to an agreed upon chair and speakers, in November or December. 

Proposal Requirements

Your proposal should be firm before submitting, meaning that the agreement of the chair and speakers has already been obtained. The site will direct you to provide the following (all character limits include spaces):

  • Contact information (institutions, emails, addresses) for the chair and speakers
  • Title of the overall SIR and the individual presentations
  • Short description of the SIR for use in the annual meeting Program and Neuroscience Meeting Planner (500 characters)
  • Overall objectives for how the SIR addresses neuroscience topics that have an impact on society, in terms of ethics or public awareness or social change (1500 characters)
  • Why the proposal is timely (500 characters)
  • The extent to which it could have a broad appeal for the membership (500 characters)
  • The diversity of your participants (women, international, underrepresented minorities) (500 characters)
  • Other considerations that may make the proposal attractive (500 characters)


The final selection is made by PECC, whose primary consideration is to determine what will best serve the interests of the Society for Neuroscience and the success of the annual meeting. The committee may suggest substitutions of speakers or a different chair. The committee may decide to combine two proposals into one and suggest which speakers should be retained in that event. Suggestions arising from discussions of PECC are passed on directly to the proposed chair. 
Note that proposals that fail to be accommodated one year will not be held over for consideration the next. However, a proposal can be re-submitted the following year and will receive the same consideration as any other.


Appropriate representation of women, international scientists, and underrepresented minorities is strongly encouraged and will be considered in the selection of the SIR by PECC. PECC retains the right to work with the organizer to modify the composition of the SIR to ensure diversity.

Back to top