Interview with Neuroscience Pioneer Eve Marder, PhD (BSP 56)

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Episode 56 of the Brain Science Podcast is an interview with neuroscientist, Eve Marder, PhD.  Dr. Marder has spent 35 years studying the somatogastric ganglion of the lobster.  In this interview we talk about how she got into neuroscience during its early days, her recent tenure as president of the Society for Neuroscience, and how some of her key discoveries have implications for studying more complex nervous systems.

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Highlights from Neuroscience 2008 (BSP 50)

Episode 50 of the Brain Science Podcast is a change of pace from our usual format.  In this episode I share a few highlights from this year's Neuroscience 2008, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, which just concluded in Washington, DC.

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  • New episodes of the Brain Science Podcast are always FREE.  All episodes posted after January 1, 2013, are free.  See the individual show notes for links the audio files.

Show Notes and Links:

Scientists featured in this episode:

  • Eve Marder (Brandeis University)-current president of SfN.
  • Tom Carew (UC-Irvine)-incoming president of SfN.
  • Michael Bate (Cambridge University): his talk about the study of the development of movement in fruit flies is featured in this episode.

References:

Announcements:

  • Books and Ideas #23: Interview with Nobel physicist, Dr. Frank Wilczek.

Send email feedback to Ginger Campbell, MD at brainsciencepodcast@gmail.com

Neuroscience 2008: Emerging Themes

30,000 scientists are attending the annual meeting of the Society of Neuroscience in Washington DC. To a neophyte attendee (like me) there seem to be at least that many lectures and posters to choose from. Yesterday I focused on attending several press events and I also enjoyed a featured lecture by Dr. Michael Bate, from Cambridge University (UK). At the press events several themes emerged. As I mentioned in a previous post the leadership of the Society for Neuroscience is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of public awareness of neuroscience. Yesterday they announced Neuroscience Core Concepts, which they described as a “practical resource” about how the brain works. Click here to learn more. Besides emphasizing the importance of public education, during the press briefing with various leaders from NIH, the importance of basic research was highlighted. A recent politician’s attack on fruit fly research has made scientists painfully aware that even people in leadership positions remain dangerously unaware that seemingly esoteric research can lead to important advances. The fruit’s fly’s essential role in genetic research is taken for granted by most scientists, but it is also important in neuroscience research that is not explicitly genetic in nature. Later today I will try to post a brief description of Michael Bate’s lecture. It is a perfect example of this principle since it involves using fruit fly larvae to study motor development. Even thought the fruit fly lacks a true brain it has a surprisingly complex nervous system.
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Neuroscience 2008: Incoming President of SfN Emphasizes Public Outreach

At Saturday's Brain Awareness Campaign Event at Neuroscience 2008, Tom Carew, President-Elect of the Society for Neuroscience described his commitment to public outreach. The emphasis of the Brain Awareness Week campaign is on K-12 educational outreach. Dr. Carew and the other speakers noted that today's youngsters are tomorrow's neuroscientists. Also, public education is essential to on-going support of science research. It is also becoming increasingly important in helping citizens make decisions about their own health. Barbara Gill from the Dana Alliance announced that they will be updating their website for the 2009 campaign, and Dr. Carew outlined his plans to increase collaboration among scientists and educators. Since the Society for Neuroscience is the most important international organization of neuroscientists, I think it is very important that they are becoming more active in public outreach. As the public becomes more aware of neuroscience there is an important need for accurate sources of information.
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Neuropod Reviews the 2007 Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience

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Nature recently relaunched its neuroscience podcast under the new name: Neuropod with host Keri Smith.  The show is supposed to come out once a month, and while there is some overlap in content with the main Nature Podcast, the focus on neuroscience allows them to expand the coverage of related topics.

I got an email from Keri Smith today that said there is a special episode available on the website that is devoted to coverage of the recent Society for Neuroscience meeting that was held in San Diego.  I have enjoyed all the episodes so far and look forward to more.