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One Mind for Research

From Monday, May 23 through Wednesday, May 25, 2011, an extraordinary event took place in Boston that brought together researchers, health advocates and politicians to mount a concerted challenge to solving what has been called the final frontier of medicine: the human brain.

The One Mind for Research Forum (OMR) was dedicated to imagining the next decade of neuroscience research and development. The forum was the brainchild of Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who was joined by OMR co-chair Garen Staglin and Harvard Provost Steven Hyman in organizing a scintillating scientific meeting that has been called a moonshot to the mind. The moonshot reference derives from President John F. Kennedy’s challenge 50 years ago to send a man to the moon and back. As JFK’s nephew, Patrick Kennedy felt that this audacious program might be a model for galvanizing a similar scientific movement: One Mind for Research.

The first two days of the forum were filmed by The Science Network. We would like to acknowledge a significant grant from The Dana Foundation, which made this possible, as well as a series of additional Science Studio conversations with key participants including the directors of three National Institutes. Dana has been, and remains, a powerful force for good in increasing understanding of neuroscience, education, and the arts – a mission which dovetails with TSN’s mission of building an accessible ‘public square’ where scientists discuss their work and its relevance to society. The first Science Studio presentations on TSN were funded by an early grant from Dana, and it is very gratifying to witness this continuing collaboration. TSN acknowledges in particular the support and enthusiasm of Dana Chairman and President Edward Rover and Vice President, Public Affairs/Executive Director, Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, Barbara Gill.

For additional information, a forum manifesto – A Ten Year Plan for Neuroscience: From Molecules to Brain Health – is available: here. The Society for Neuroscience – which also played a major partnership role – has references here.

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