July 7, 2016 — The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem received the DAB-FENS Brain Awareness Week Excellence Award for 2016. The Dana Foundation and the European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) presented the award in collaboration with the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS).

Celebrating special contributions to the promotion of brain awareness through continued public outreach efforts, the Neuroscience Outreach Awards were presented at FENS Forum 2016, Europe’s pre-eminent neuroscience meeting, on July 4 in Copenhagen.

Professor Monica di Luca, FENS president, said: “The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem have embraced public engagement as an integral part of their research agenda. People of all ages are intrigued by the creative brain, and here the scientists have found imaginative ways to combine neuroscience research with the arts.”

Established in 2010, the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences has a comprehensive and innovative research agenda that includes dialogue with the public. To this end, the Center initiated Art and the Brain Week, a series of lectures and cultural events including dance, art exhibitions and films that reveal the brain’s creative processes. Since 2011, Art and the Brain has reached more than 10,000 children and adults in Jerusalem and beyond, and thousands more through newspapers, radio and television.

Dr. Rafi Aviram, Executive Director, and Ms. Alona Shani-Narkiss, Events and Publications Coordinator of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, accepted the award in Copenhagen.

Dr. Rafi Aviram said: “At ELSC we believe it is crucial for the public to understand that brain research affects each and every one of us in many aspects of our lives, from basic decision-making processes to complex brain diseases. Strengthening our bonds with the community, and enhancing the public’s awareness of the importance of brain sciences, are integral to the advanced research conducted at The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences.”

Also honored at the awards ceremony was Professor Paul Bolam, emeritus Senior Scientist at the MRC Brain Networks Dynamics Unit at the University of Oxford, who received the 2016 Dana/EDAB Neuroscience Outreach Champion award.

The 10th FENS Forum of Neuroscience, the largest basic neuroscience meeting in Europe, organized by FENS and hosted by the Danish Society for Neuroscience, attracted an estimated 6,000 international delegates. The mission of FENS is to advance research and education in neuroscience within and outside Europe, to facilitate interaction and coordination between its members. FENS represents 43 national and single discipline neuroscience societies with about 24,000 member scientists from 33 European countries.

About the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences:

The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC) was founded in 2010 with the support of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation, as an interdisciplinary center for brain sciences. The Center has an innovative and revolutionary research agenda for understanding the brain and its complex products: movement, perception, cognition, language, and creativity. Scientists at ELSC examine the brain from the level of the single neuron to complex human behavior using state-of-the-art scientific equipment and innovative research approaches: nanotechnologies, telemetry and optogenetics. The unique integration of theoreticians with experimental researchers facilitates the simulation of brain activity using supercomputers utilizing mathematical and physical models to present the brain as an ever-changing, dynamic learning system.

One important component of ELSC’s vision is to maintain a dialogue between scientists and the general public. ELSC seeks to reach out to those who are interested in the impacts of brain sciences research and are directly influenced by it. By holding public lectures and hosting temporary exhibitions on the brain, with informational handouts and joint “brainstorming,” the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences renders brain research accessible to all who are interested. For more information, please visit http://elsc.huji.ac.il.