Three Win Awards for Neuroscience Outreach

Awards to be presented at meeting of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) in July


June 9, 2014

CONTACT: 
Barbara Gill
info@dana.org

Dr. Mara Dierssen (Spain), Mary Baker MBE (UK), and the Hellenic Society for Neurosciences (Greece) will be awarded prestigious prizes linked to their outreach efforts on behalf of neuroscience. The awards will be presented during the FENS Forum 2014 on July 7, 2014.

Dr. Mara Dierssen will be named a Dana/EDAB Neuroscience Outreach Champion (also known as The David and Hillie Mahoney Award For an Individual's Contribution to Outreach), an honor awarded to an individual who has significantly contributed to the promotion of brain awareness, through continued public outreach efforts for a period of three or more years. The Dana Foundation and the European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) are sponsors of all three awards.

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Mara Dierssen

Prof. Dierssen, a group leader at the Centre de Regulació Genòmica and current President of the Spanish Society of Neurosciences, was one of the first researchers who regularly organized neuroscience outreach activities in Spain. A founding partner of the Science Program of outreach activities in Barcelona, she currently organizes three annual science festivals in the city. Nationally, she has been coordinating the Brain Awareness Week (BAW) activities of the Spanish Neuroscience Society since 2002; in 2012, the Year of Neuroscience in Spain, more than 8,000 people attended BAW activities. Together with the Barcelona Institute of Education, Prof. Dierssen organizes a program of neuroscience outreach activities for K-12 students in the city. She also organizes and participates in less-formal programs such as Café Scientifique, where scientists talk with members of the public about the brain in a café or bar, Neuro-Desconferencias (Neuro-UnConferences), and a series of public debates.

Dr. Mary G. Baker, MBE, will receive the Dana/EDAB Lifetime Achievement Award for Outreach on behalf of Brain Research.

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Mary Baker

Throughout her career, Prof. Baker has championed the brain, tirelessly raising awareness about the brain and its disorders as well as raising research funds to study the brain and help brain-disordered patients. Dr.  Baker launched an extensive campaign that succeeded in the European Commission declaring May 2013 the European Month of the Brain. She is the immediate past president (and was the first president) of the European Brain Council, immediate past president of the European Federation of Neurological Associations, consultant to the World Health Organisation (WHO), and chair of the Working Group on Parkinson's Disease formed by the WHO in May 1997. She retired as chief executive of the Parkinson's Disease Society of the United Kingdom in 2001 where she worked for 18 years.

The Hellenic Society for Neurosciences will receive the EDAB-FENS Brain Awareness (BAW) Excellence Award, which recognizes the outstanding presentation of a BAW public outreach program in the past two years by an organization such as a hospital, university, national society, or non-governmental organization.

The Society was founded in 1985 with a mission to raise awareness and educate the public. It coordinates an increasing number of public events each year for BAW; in 2014 it held 13 events in Greek cities, towns, and rural areas for children and for the general public. Events included "Brain Fantastic" for elementary students in Athens; a visit to a lab for high schoolers in Crete, in the Peloponnese; and a public panel on memory in Athens that drew 1,500 people. In Larissa, high-school students who participated in a "Neuroscience Summer School" at the Medical School of the University of Thessaly, performing their own experiments on living tissue and producing their own data, gave a public presentation on their experience of learning brain function. The Society has organized 26 international conferences or educational workshops in various cities in Greece and has given about 200 scholarships to students to attend international neuroscience conferences abroad. (Please see photos below.)

The awards will be presented on July 7, 2014, at 12:30 pm in Hall C during the 9th FENS Forum of Neuroscience. The Forum is July 5-9 at the Milano Congressi Piazzale Carlo Magno (MiCo), 1 20149 Milan, Italy.

The Dana Foundation (dana.org) is  a  private  philanthropic  organization that supports brain research through grants, publications, and educational programs.

The European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) (http://dana.org/About/EDAB/) is an organization of 260 eminent brain scientists, including four Nobel laureates, from 31 countries. Launched in 1997, EDAB is committed to enhancing the public's understanding of why brain research is so important.

The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) (fens.org) is the voice of European neuroscience. With 42 neuroscience member societies across 32 European countries, FENS represents close to 23,000 European neuroscientists with a clear mission to advance European neuroscience education and research.

PHOTO SOURCES:

Dr. Mara Dierssen - http://www.fens.org/Global/Pages/Persons/MDierssen-1.jpg

Dr. Mary G. Baker - http://www.neuropenews.org/?p=2854

The Hellenic Society for Neurosciences - Courtesy of The Hellenic Society for Neurosciences

MORE PHOTOS: 

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[Long caption:] In Rethymno, at the Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience of the University of Crete, high-school students learned of the basic techniques that are used in the study of brain and behavior (stereotaxic surgery, intracranial self-stimulation, locomotor activity, elevated plus maze, forced swim test). This was one of the many events for Brain Awareness Week coordinated by the Hellenic Society for Neurosciences. (Photo  courtesy of the Society)

[Short caption:] In Rethymno, at the Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience of the University of Crete, high-school students learned of the basic techniques that are used in the study of brain and behavior. (Photo courtesy of the Hellenic Society for Neurosciences)


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 Hellenic_Society_Drawings2
[Long caption:] During the “Brain Escape” event on the island of Amorgos, elementary school students heard about the brain, observed brain sections under the microscope and painted them, and attended a general presentation about the brain. This was one of the many events for Brain Awareness Week coordinated by the Hellenic Society for Neurosciences. (Photos  courtesy of the Society)

{Short caption:] During the “Brain Escape” event on the island of Amorgos, elementary school students make models of the nervous system. (Photos courtesy of the Hellenic Society for Neurosciences)