[FUN_Mail] No teaching workshop at SfN 2021

Richard Olivo rolivo at smith.edu
Sun Aug 1 19:58:33 UTC 2021

If the annual SfN workshop on teaching neuroscience is one of the events
that you look forward to every year, I regret to tell you that SfN has
excluded the workshop that was planned for the 2021 annual meeting. That
workshop, on "Reviving Neuroanatomy,'' was organized by Bill Grisham for
the 2020 SfN annual meeting and then deferred to 2021 at SfN's request. A
few days ago, when Bill inquired about arrangements for this year's
meeting, he and I were informed that the workshop was not included in the

This will be the first year since 2005 that the SfN annual meeting does not
include a professional development workshop on teaching neuroscience. These
teaching workshops have consistently been well-attended and highly rated,
and have featured topics that spanned a range of current concerns about
teaching neuroscience. (The topics are listed below, along with a
description of the planned 2021 workshop.) If you have benefitted from
these workshops and wish to express your disappointment, one person at SfN
to contact is Vlera Kojcini <vkojcini at sfn.org>. I view canceling the
workshop as yet another example of SfN's indifference to the teaching that
its members do.

The planned 2021 workshop's title and description are:
*Teaching Neuroscience: Reviving Neuroanatomy*
    Students often find neuroanatomy a daunting exercise of rote
memorization in a dead language. This workshop is designed to enliven the
teaching of neuroanatomy. We recast the topic by extending it to the
cellular and molecular levels as well as animating it by learning to build
a brain. We describe how to rejuvenate pedagogical practices delivered both
online and in person. Lastly, a physiologist-turned-neuroanatomy-instructor
offers a fresh approach through personal experience.

Many FUN members have contributed as workshop panelists, starting with the
first one in 2005, and they and others often provided suggestions to help
me plan workshops. In recent years, several workshops were organized by our
FUN colleagues Bill Grisham and Monica Linden. The full list of topics
follows, in reverse chronological order:

2019  Teaching Computation in Neuroscience
2018  Emotion and Learning
2017  Evidence-Based Approaches to Teaching Neuroscience
2016  Teaching Neuroscience with Big Data
2015  Teaching Neuroscience to Non-Scientists
2014  Online Learning
2013  Are Printed Textbooks Obsolete?
2012  Connecting to the Humanities and Social Sciences
2011  A Preview of ERIN, Educational Resources in Neuroscience
2010  Undergraduate Curricula and Graduate Expectations
2009  Teaching Neuroscience with Case Studies
2008  Teaching Neuroscience for Long-Term Learning
2007  Teaching Neuroscience: Innovative Laboratories
2006  Resources for Teaching Neuroscience
2005  Teaching Neuroscience

Richard Olivo

Richard F Olivo, PhD
Professor of Biological Sciences and Neuroscience, Smith College
Founding Editor, Educational Resources (ERIN), Society for Neuroscience
       44 College Lane, Smith College, Northampton MA 01063
       413 585-3822 • http://tinyurl.com/bio300http://tinyurl.com/smithbio330
       rolivo at smith.edu
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