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MiniSymposium Presentation at SfN

Gage and Marzullo with Ben Robbins - perhaps the youngest presenter ever at SfN.

I was pleased to be invited to discuss my behavioral research with earthworms in a MiniSymposium organized by Greg Gage and Tim Marzullo entitled “Low Cost Neuroscience for the Amateur, the High School Student, the Undergraduate, and Public Outreach.”  My presentation, in pdf format, is available here.   The MiniSymposium was also written up by the Dana Foundation – see their article here.

An Honor for a Friend

The Society for neuroscience’s Committee on Neuroscience Departments and Programs honored Julio Ramirez as the 2011 Neuroscience Educator of the Year.  I have been fortunate to consider Julio a friend for more than 20 years; it was as a result of hearing him talk in the late 1980s about students engaged in research with him that I realized that I needed to give students more freedom in my lab.  Julio is largely responsible for the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) – without him the organization would not exist.  From meager beginnings in 1991, FUN has grown to the point of having the largest, best-attended social at the Society for Neuroscience meeting that just ended in DC (>700 people at the social).  FUN awarded 19 travel awards to assist undergrads in attending the SfN meeting.  Julio has also established SOMAS-URM – a foundation that provides summer research support to junior neuroscientist faculty and their students.  He was recognized by the White House this past year as one of the nation’s top science mentors.  I think it is safe to say that the face of neuroscience education today is as attractive as it is because of Julio’s efforts.  Congratulations, friend!

A Murmuration of Starlings

Sometimes you just have to let nature speak for itself.  Some Irish film-makers caught a murmuration of starlings – this is the name given to a large group of starlings in flight.  Remarkable choreography is common in murmurations; a film record of the event is not.  Enjoy.

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