Neuroethics Canada, University of British Columbia

Organized by:
Neuroethics Canada, University of British Columbia

Participating Organizations:

We would like to acknowledge the Dana Foundation, the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, and the Vancouver Functional Neurosurgery at the University of British Columbia for making these events possible.

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Lecture/Briefing
  • Online/Virtual
  • Other
  • Other: Grand Rounds
  • Other: Seminar

Target Audiences:

  • General Public
  • Other
  • Patients & Caregivers
  • Professionals
  • University students
  • Other: Faculty
  • Other: Post-doc fellows

Approximate Number of People Reached:


Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

In line with the Brain Awareness Week (BAW) celebrations, Neuroethics Canada at the University of British Columbia was honored to host a series of lectures and seminars featuring Dr. Patrick McDonald, MD, MHSc, FRCSC (Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Winnipeg Children’s Hospital; Head, Section of Neurosurgery, University of Manitoba).

Dr. McDonald presented “Worlds Apart – Ensuring Equitable Access to Advances in Brain Health” at the Annual Distinguished Neuroethics Lecture. Taking in consideration the comfort level of the guests towards possibly attending a public in-person event and other risks involved, Neuroethics Canada hosted this 90-minute lecture virtually through Zoom. The Neuroethics Lecture received more than 150 registrations and welcomed attendees from Vancouver, BC to those located across the globe (USA, Europe, Australia). After the event, a recording of the lecture was posted on Youtube ( to allow those who were not able to attend the event live to replay the lecture at their convenience.

Dr. McDonald was also a featured speaker for the virtual Neuroscience Grand Rounds by the Vancouver General Hospital and presented “Why Neuroscience Clinicians Should Care about Neuroethics”. This event was attended by more than 100 Neurology faculty members, residents, and Canadian Resident Matching Service applicants. To conclude the BAW celebrations, Dr. McDonald held an engaging hybrid-format seminar at Neuroethics Canada with Neuroethics faculty, researchers, and trainees on “Neuroethics and Neurotechnology: What does the Future Hold?”.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Calendar Listings (newspapers, radio, television)
  • Emails
  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Other

Other Publicity Methods:

Calendar listing (sponsors' websites/blogs, University and inter-department event calendars and communication channels), Eventbrite listing, and Facebook event page.

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

All our efforts to promote through email blasts, calendar listings, social media, and an Eventbrite listing produced the well-attended online public event as this enabled us to widen our reach from the academic community to the general public.


Which BAW graphic materials did you use in publicizing your events?

  • Brain Awareness Week Logos

Feedback & Keys to Success

How do you feel BAW participation benefited your organization and the local community?

In addition to spreading awareness about research in Neuroethics in the local, national, international and online community, the yearly BAW campaign gives the community a chance to learn and become more aware about cutting edge brain research, its social implications, important brain health concerns and what is currently being done to address these issues. It provides the opportunity for professionals and researchers to share their recent findings and to interact with those who are impacted most

Please share any suggestions or lessons learned that may help others plan future events:

We suggest that organizers plan well in advance (6-9 months) and execute a sound communications campaign plan. Make sure to tag Dana Foundation/Brain Awareness Week and sponsors social media accounts in posts to maximize online exposure. It also helps to mention speaker and institution accounts in the posts for dissemination in the announcement.

Awareness of free, heavily visited community calendar pages and local event/lifestyle blogs also boosts the campaign strategy. Interdepartmental communication channels are highly recommended, as well, as we found them to be very effective in reaching out to trainees and their circles.

A registration platform where people may RSVP for the event is useful to plan for attendance. Given that the event is public and free, we estimate a 40% drop out. If using Eventbrite, take advantage of the free Facebook integration feature as this allows attendees to share and reserve tickets directly from their Facebook feed. It also helps to send attendees information on how to access the online event (i.e., Zoom link) immediately upon registration, if applicable, and through a reminder 24 hours and 1 hour prior to the event.

Consider recording the virtual session for post-event dissemination. For example, we used the free recording feature from Zoom, and uploaded the recording on Youtube for unrestricted public viewing. This allows for a wider reach post-event, while also providing your viewers access to the content for no extra cost.

The virtual space gave access to interested event participants who might have not been able to attend otherwise due to their location. In effect, the online space engaged a bigger community to discuss the ethics in neurotechnology and neuroscience.

Event Photos

event single

Drs. Judy Illes and Patrick McDonald

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BAW Lecture

Contact Information

BAW Website:

Contact Name:

Marianne Bacani

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:

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