Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hey, Wake Up, It’s Brain Awareness Week

Your brain doesn’t come with an instruction manual.

The Dana Foundation’s annual Brain Awareness Week (BAW), March 10-16, seems particularly appropriate and useful this time around, after a year in which brain-based disease models of human behaviors came under fire from social scientists and neuroscientists alike.

A recent analysis of the coverage of neuroscience in the popular press showed that the number of news articles using the terms "neuroscience" or "neuroscientist" had increased by a factor of 30 between 1985 and 2009. Moreover, the NIH's massive Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, designed to speed up our understanding of the neural workings of the human brain in the years ahead, is in progress.
Brain Awareness Week, which takes place each year during the third week of March, is the global campaign to increase public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) administers a BAW grants program for European partners.

During the week, campaign partners around the world organize activities to educate their communities about the brain and brain research. A product of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, Brain Awareness Week “unites the efforts of partner organizations worldwide in a celebration of the brain for people of all ages. Activities are limited only by the organizers’ imaginations and include open days at neuroscience labs; exhibitions about the brain; lectures on brain-related topics; social media campaigns; displays at libraries and community centers; classroom workshops; and more.”

In league with hundreds of governmental and private partner institutions around the world, BAW’s enormous calendar of events testifies to the success of this outreach. The week kicks off with an interview with Kelley Remole, Ph.D., the director of neuroscience outreach at Columbia University and the co-president of the Greater NYC Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. 

Here you will find a pile of publications and resources.

And here is a bunch of downloadable brain stuff for kids.

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