Connecting European Neuroscience

Neuroscience Outreach Awards 2018

Three Neuroscience Outreach Awards were announced on Monday 9th July at the FENS Forum 2018, in Berlin.

Congratulations to the awardees! 

The Dana/EDAB Neuroscience Outreach Champion 2018 is 
Dr. Laura López-Mascaraque
Scientist at the Cajal Institute working on the lineage potential of single-neural cells during brain development and adulthood.

Activities to engage people on the importance of studying the brain:
- Talks in Spain, Mexico, Bolivia…  including patient’s-associations, primary/secondary schools, cultural associations, etc., extending activities along the whole year, outlasting the typical “Science Week” or the “BAW”.
- From 2006, she arranged a workshop with practical demonstrations to explain of how smells have effects beyond our conscious control and are intimately linked to our emotions, affecting our mood.
- Author of a science-divulgation book on the biological basis and participates in the Blog sponsored by CSIC: “Science to Carry”.
- In 2010, organised/ coordinated simultaneous outreach events in 12 different cities, which joined by 1200+ participants covered by different TV channels.
- 2016 to date coordinated the talks + workshops series “Smell and Taste with the Brain”, belonging to the Spanish Research Council and La Caixa outreach campaign “City Science” and “Science in the neighborhood”.
- She is also involved in promoting gender balance in neuroscience participating in several round tables as President of Spanish WINS.

The EDAB-FENS Brain Awareness Week Excellence Award 2018 goes to the University Côte d’Azur.
“Brain of the Future” was this year’s theme of the BAW on the French Riviera, organized by University Côte d’Azur. From March 9th to 19th 2018, more than 60 events involving more than 130 neuroscientists from University Côte d’Azur (UCA), and Universities around France (Paris, Marseille, Toulouse...) and University Laval in Quebec, were proposed to the lay public. Major themes were on Artificial intelligence, Brain computer interface, Brain machine interface, artificial neurons, Brain in microgravity and progress in brain research. Outreach activities also included workshops for school children, a live video of a neurosurgery, and posting videos on social networks. 

The Lifetime Achievement Award for Outreach on behalf of Brain Research goes to
Dr. Roland Pochet
Roland Pochet is an EDAB member since 2005.
Already in 2003 he organized within the BAW a Public Conference “New tools  in neurosurgery”.
In 2004 he co-organized the Belgian Brain Day in presence of Princess Mathilde de Belgique.
Since 2005, R. Pochet using his position, first, as Secretary (2006-2009) then as General Secretary (2009-2017) of the Belgian Brain Council became the lead figure for the Brain Awareness Week in Belgium. Many of the activities were further reported through interview and articles in national journals (Le Soir, La Libre Belgique, De Standard).
Another unique feature successfully initiated and managed by R. Pochet was to organize during BAW, workshops within the European Parliament either in Brussels or in Strasbourg. The success of such events are a real challenge and needed strong networking capacities not only to happen but to be a success. The BAW-EP workshop started already in 2009, in 2010 with Karl Friston as keynote speaker and Colin Blakemore in 2011. The last 2 years EBC and FENS joined his efforts to increase visibility and BAW impact.
Roland Pochet also recently wrote an article on ALS in the 10th annual edition (2017) of CEREBRUM anthology.


   Download the press release about the award ceremony at the FENS Forum 2018.


The Neuroscience Outreach Awards Selection Committee is responsible for evaluating the submitted proposals and selecting the awardees. In 2018, it was composed of:

- Carlos Belmonte, Member of EDAB Executive Committee
- Colin Blakemore, EDAB Vice-Chairman
- Monica Di Luca, FENS President
- Paul Bolam, Dana/EDAB Outreach Champion 2016
- Mara Dierssen, Dana/EDAB Outreach Champion 2014
- Barry Everitt, FENS President
- Pierre Magistretti, IBRO President and EDAB Vice-Chairman


More information on The Brain Awareness Week (BAW)