Society for Neuroscience Redux

Thirty thousand plus neuroscientists will be leaving Washington today to head home. My sense is that it was an extraordinarily successful meeting in that there was a lot of serious new science to report.

The photo was taken just outside the DC convention center yesterday as neuroscientists headed towards China Town and its many restaurants. For those readers who enjoy my various complaints about Blackboard, you’ll note its corporate headquarters (brown building to the left).

Today back at Krasnow we have an advisory board meeting that will take up the morning. The Board is a terrific group of distinguished individuals who have given enormously to the Institute over the years, both materially and in terms of collective wisdom.

For that we are very grateful. Over the next year, the Board will be entering a new phase, which I’ll put out as a teaser. I hope to write more about that soon.

In the meantime, we’re looking forward to a very busy remainder of the week, and a Thanksgiving holiday that’s not too far off.

A tree is like a neuron–especially after the leaves come down…

The wind is really blowing hard today and the leaves are flying off the limbs. Looking out my office window I already see lots of bare limbs, which day by day, take on the look and feel of apical pyramidal cell dendrites–this is appropriate for SFN11 week here in DC.

I feel bad for the 40,000 neuroscientists who are streaming in to DC as I write these words, only to find that Metro is on a weekend schedule because of Veterans Day (20 minutes between trains). Hope they all brought coats. It’s cold.

Some suggestions for our students, for whom this may well be their first meeting:

Concentrate on the poster sessions and focus with laser attention on the subset in your own area of work. This task alone, will, if done properly, take up the bulk of your working time at the meeting.

Tag along with your mentor, as much as she or he, will allow and observe how networking happens. If you’re lucky, you may end up being introduced to your next boss!

When socializing, especially early in the evening, don’t party too hearty. You don’t want to wake up to your picture on Facebook. And you don’t want to fall into your soup.

Society for Neuroscience meeting here in DC

The great gathering of neuroscientists occurs this week, starting Saturday. This year, here in Washington D.C. An occasion when the excited young crowd on your Metro train are mostly carrying those cylindrical scientific poster containers that loop over the shoulder. Such a contrast from the usual dour look of our commuters as they anticipate the escalators being out of service wherever they are going.

I’m looking forward to seeing some new science, old friends and new instrumentation.

And I do hope that the escalators will work for once….

Chronicle weighs in on Neuroethics meeting

Here’s the take from the Chronicle of Higher Education. We rapped up this afternoon and I think it was a fine meeting. ┬áThe key, as was mentioned by many in attendance, was that there were many neuroscientists there–joining the ethicists. So it was truly a trans-disciplinary discussion, which too often is not the case for the field of bioethics in general.

Tomorrow’s the first day of the Society for Neuroscience meeting. It’ll be competing with the G-20 “Breton Woods II” heads of state conference next door to shut down Washington traffic–should be very exciting. I’m taking Metro.
Jim