Brain Awareness Week—Celebrating Its 26th Anniversary

Founded in 1996 in the US by the Dana Alliance for Brain initiatives and the European Dana Alliance for the Brain, Brain Awareness Week is held in March of every year—and this year from the 14th to 18th March. Starting out as a small-scale endeavour to bring together people from all walks of life with an interest in brain research, the project has rapidly grown into a “global education initiative” in which 7,300 partners in 120 countries have participated, and counting.

What is Brain Awareness Week?

The Dana Foundation, a philanthropic organisation whose primary aim is to promulgate knowledge on the brain, coordinates the event. The foundation relies on funding from the public and research grants.

The purpose of this worldwide campaign is to engender global interest and support for brain science. During BAW, partners of the Dana Foundation—including outreach organisations, charities, government agencies, educational establishments, and hospitals—help to educate others on the marvel that is the brain and to show the vital role that brain science plays in our day-to-day lives by hosting fun and engaging events (this can be a lab tour, panel discussion, or museum display, etc.) in their communities, each with its own specific focus and approach.

The Decade of the Brain (1990-1999), which set out “to enhance public awareness of the benefits to be derived from brain research”, saw a huge influx of research based on the discovery that our experiences and environment in early life fundamentally shape our brain development and behaviour for the rest of our lives.

Studying the brain

Studying how the brain and nervous system work helps us to understand the basic functions of the human body. It can also find treatment and prevention methods for the many diseases and disorders of the brain3.

MDPI journals dedicated to research on the brain in health and disease include, but are not limited to, Brain Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Clinical and Translational Neuroscience, Neuroglia, NeuroSci, Clocks & Sleep, Journal of Ageing and Longevity, and Neurology International, which publish original research and reviews in areas such as cognitive and developmental neuroscience, psychobiology, endovascular neurointervention, neurosurgery, the central and peripheral nervous systems, medical gerontology, and neurometabolic disorders. See the full list of MDPI journals here.

Some relevant MDPI Special Issues and their submission deadlines are listed below:

Information on how to contribute to these journals and Special Issues can be found here.

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