BNA2021 Festival of Neuroscience to be held online in response to uncertainty surrounding COVID19 situation

12th Aug 2020

Having carefully evaluated the risks, feasibility, and needs of the neuroscience community with respect to the ongoing COVID19 situation, the British Neuroscience Association Trustees, in agreement with the UK Dementia Research Institute as Festival Partner, today announce the decision hold the April 2021 Festival as an online-only event.

Additionally, the online Festival will now run between Monday 12th April and Thursday 15th April 2021, and BNA2023 will be held in Brighton.

This was a very difficult decision, but after considering all factors, we feel confident this is the right one for our neuroscience community at this time.  To help explain: 

Factors behind this decision include: 

  • Risk of exacerbating the COVID19 situation, particularly as many of our speakers and delegates work in healthcare and are in contact with vulnerable people.  
  • Costs of traveling to an in-real-life meeting, when neuroscientists are very likely to be under financial restraints over the coming year or more 
  • The financial loss of planning for a meeting which is then unable to go ahead 
  • Ongoing restrictions or unwillingness of speakers to undertake international travel 
  • The opportunity to create a Festival which could be the future of meetings in years to come  

Although we are all disappointed that we will not be able to meet good friends and colleagues in person, we are also excited about the opportunities an online Festival will bring: 

  • Being able to support our neuroscience community and enable them to connect in a difficult time 
  • Increasing the international reach of the Festival  
  • Increasing accessibility to those who would find it hard to attend an in-real-life meeting, such as those with caring responsibilities 
  • Using brand new, creative solutions for effective online networking and poster presentations 
  • Providing an archive of recorded content to enable enjoying all sessions of the meeting by catching up after the event  

There are several questions and challenges that this new format inevitably poses, and we’ll be looking into solutions over the coming months. We are currently in the process of selecting the very best that online meeting platforms have to offer, to make the Festival truly exceptional. 

We look forward to working with you all to create the first ever online Festival of Neuroscience. 

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