Neuroethics Canada

Organized by:
Neuroethics Canada

Participating Organizations:

We would like to acknowledge the Dana Foundation, the Department of Psychiatry, the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics and the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at the University of British Columbia, and the Brain, Behaviour, and Development Theme at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Lecture/ Briefing
  • Other
  • Other: Public Lecture
  • Other: Academic Lecture
  • Other: Seminar
  • Other: and Roundtable

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 celebration of Brain Awareness Week, Neuroethics Canada (formerly known as National Core for Neuroethics) at the University of British Columbia was honored to host a series of lectures and seminars featuring Dr. Thomas R. Insel, MD (Co-founder and President, Mindstrong Health). Dr. Insel presented on ” Smartphones: What They Can Tell Us About Our Brains and Our Minds” to an audience of more than 150 at the UBC Robson Square. Dr. Insel was also a featured speaker for the Neuroscience Grand Rounds at the Vancouver General Hospital and for the Neuropsychiatry Grand Rounds at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia to discuss ” Digital Phenotyping: A New Window on Cognition, Mood, and Behavior”, and held an engaging seminar to discuss the latest on neuroethics together with the Neuroethics faculty, researchers, and trainees. Dr. Insel also spoke at a roundtable seminar hosted by the Brain, Behaviour, and Development Theme at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Advertisements
  • Calendar Listings (newspapers, radio, television)
  • Emails
  • Posters/Flyers
  • Website
  • Social Media

Other Publicity Methods:

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

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

All our efforts to promote through email blasts, calendar listings, posting flyers on community spaces, social media, Eventbrite listing, and targeted Facebook ads produced the well-attended 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?

  • BAW 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’s/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. A registration platform where people may RSVP for the event is useful to plan for attendance and catering. Given that the event is public and free, we estimate a 30% 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 inform attendees a few days before the event what they can expect at the venue (for example: parking information, what time doors will open, if seats general admission, if food will be served, what they need to bring to check in at the event, etc.). We found that investing in social media (Facebook) ads was more cost-efficient and effective in sharing event information than posting ads at a free, printed community newspaper. On the day of the event itself, make sure event posters and signs are visible for attendees. If available, we recommend having volunteer staff for registration and general information – not only does this make the event look more professional, but having staff to welcome attendees also opens the opportunity to build a relationship with community members, and to talk about what Brain Awareness Week is. We would also suggest using laptops/iPads/iPhones in registration (if using Eventbrite), to allow for a faster check-in process for attendees. Consider videoconferencing or video recording options for audiences who are not able to attend the event. Explore different options (via online form, social media channels, index cards, Sli.Do, etc) on how you wish to receive questions for the speakers from the audience. As for photography, create a list of moments you would like to capture throughout the event to make sure you don’t miss important event highlights.

Did/do you like our Facebook page?


Was the information provided on Facebook useful?

This year’s BAW’s Facebook posts were helpful and easily shareable to promote Brain Awareness Week, in general, and our own BAW events. The interactive videos posted prior and during BAW was also a great way of attracting interest from the public as they were very eye-catching, mainstream, and interactive.

Event Photos

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Contact Information

BAW Website:

Contact Name:

Marianne Bacani

Contact Phone:

604 822 7920

Contact Email:

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