University of Pennsylvania

Organized by:
University of Pennsylvania

Participating Organizations:

University of Pennsylvania Neuroscience Graduate Group; UPenn Center for Autism Research

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Lecture/ Briefing

Target Audiences:

  • General Public
  • High School students(9-12)
  • Patients & Caregivers
  • Professionals
  • University students

Approximate Number of People Reached:

250 people attended our lecture

Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

While educating youth about neuroscience concepts and research is certainly valuable and personally rewarding, I believe it is also imperative for the neuroscience community to share findings with the general adult public. With the increasing prevalence of neuroscience terms and sensationalized articles in today’s media, learning about research findings directly from the primary investigator would be a unique opportunity for the general audience. I formalized these ideas to form a public lecture series in 2013. Open to all, free to attend, and held on the Penn campus, the lecture series consists of three 15-minute lectures given by Penn neuroscience faculty members, with a brief Q&A session following each talk. In addition, a current Ph.D. student emcees the event and provides a brief introduction to the neuroscience topics that will be covered. After the lectures conclude, everyone is invited to stay for a catered reception where the public, PhD students and other neuroscientists (self-identified with name tags), and Penn faculty (including the speakers) can mingle. In this way, the Neuroscience Public Lecture series achieves its goals to: 1) promote the importance of neuroscience research to the general public, 2) advertise the accomplishments of esteemed Penn neuroscience faculty members, and 3) encourage conversations between the general public and neuroscientists. Our most recent event was held on March 31st, 2016 and entitled “The Autistic Brain: Piecing the Puzzle Together.”

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

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

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

Emails and Social Media - can be forwarded or shared to reach more people

Feedback & Keys to Success

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

BAW provided us with a forum to promote neuroscience research through the public lecture series. I’ve planned 5 lectures over the past 2 years with tremendous success in terms of attendance and feedback of all involved.

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

The general public is interested in the brain, just come up with creative and catchy phrases for the topics covered and people will come.

Did/do you like our Facebook page?


Contact Information

BAW Website:

Contact Name:

David Reiner

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:

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