The Symposium: Academic Stand-Up

Organized by:
The Symposium: Academic Stand-Up

Participating Organizations:

Caveat NYC

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Other
  • Other: Comedy Show

Target Audiences:

  • General Public
  • Other
  • Other: 21+ adults

Approximate Number of People Reached:


Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

The comedy show featured 8-minute performances by a mix of neuroscientists, psychologists, and 3 comedians (one who has struggles with depression and two who have experienced brain trauma at young ages). The evening aimed to highlight the actual nature of scientific research and how it directly affects people’s lives. The Symposium: Academic StandUp provided a comedic and cathartic interdisciplinary look at how scientific research is inspired by real human experiences and what kinds of human experiences actual scientists live through while pursuing basic research. Hosted by Kyle Marian (science communicator) and Mimi Hayes (comedienne and brain hemorrhage survivor) Performances by: – Ashley Juavinett, neuroscientist – Tristan Miller, comedian and mental health activist – Ali Matthu, clinical psychologist dealing with OCD behavior – Krishna Reddy, neuroscientist – Shannon Odell (from Drunk Science) – neuroscientist – Mel Owens, comedienne and 30-year-old stroke survivor

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

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

Other Publicity Methods:

Cross-publicity with venues or partner organizations. Direct emails to graduate program and postdoc listserves.

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

Word of mouth from the performers through their networks, as well as the wider ComeBeBraiNY + Brain Awareness Week social media posting. Word of mouth tends to be the best way to convince audiences that a comedy/storytelling event they've never been to or have never heard of is worth their time.


Of the Dana Foundation publications/resources distributed at your event(s), if any, please indicate the three most popular. Please choose up to three. If "other," please indicate below:

  • BAW Stickers

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

  • BAW Flyer
  • BAW Logos

Feedback & Keys to Success

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

It helped expose new audiences to the power of comedy for science communication and exploring sadder, serious content like cancer and brain trauma — especially when it comes from people who experienced it first hand. It was also a great way to connect with potential future partners and guests for shows.

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

It was great to have a to-do list for cross-promoting events a month in advance. Your team did a great job reaching out to partners and helping us promote the unique value of each of our shows.

Did/do you like our Facebook page?


Was the information provided on Facebook useful?

I would say tap into the power of multimedia storytelling to be able to give audiences insight into what they would gain from going to your events. Beyond things like listing events or the big names, what gets non-science-seeking audiences is when they can see how your work and the people you work with are relevant to their lives.

Event Photos

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Contact Information

Contact Name:

Kyle Viterbo

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:

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