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 program.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.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 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/bio300 • http://tinyurl.com/smithbio330