Narender Ramnani receives the BNA's highest honour

20th May 2022

Narender RamnaniToday (Friday 20th May 2022), the British Neuroscience Association (BNA) awards Professor Narender Ramnani with Honorary Membership - the highest recognition bestowed by the Association - as a mark of appreciation for all he has done to support the BNA over the last 17+ years.

Honorary Membership is awarded to a very small number of individuals who have made a highly significant contribution to the BNA, as agreed by vote of the Council and Committee.

Narender Ramnani joins a group of just six other Honorary Members*, two of whom were part of the BNA's very early beginnings as the 'Black Horse Group' (more formally, the London Neurobiology Discussion Group).

Narender has given freely of his time and energy to the BNA in many ways and over many years. 

Amongst his roles, he was Chair of the Programme Organising Committee during the period when the BNA first launched the concept of the BNA 'Festivals of Neuroscience', what was and is still a unique forum for multiple neuroscience organisations to come together in a shared event. Forging this new model was not without its challenges!  Narender's hard work and dedication played a huge part in overcoming initial challenges, and making the Festivals the success they are today (see information about the 2023 Festival here). 

Most recently, Narender has been Trustee for Research Policy.  In this role, Narender has greatly advanced the BNA's ability to advocate for neursocience and influence policy-makers, especially through his active involvement in the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee - something which Narender urged the BNA to join. One example of how this is giving the BNA a voice in Parliament is the 'Brain Gain' event held in October 2021.

An unofficial but important role played by Narender is how he has guided the BNA into improving its own practices for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), as well as championing EDI more widely across neuroscience. Narender was pivotal in the BNA's introduction of minimum requirements for the number of women speakers at BNA meetings (now consistently 50% of speakers at BNA Festivals); created the 'WISDAT' initative; and has been on the steering group for the BNA's new Scholars Programme for under-represented ethnic groups in neuroscience. 

In the meantime, Narender's 'day job' is as Professor of Neuroscience at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he leads the Brain, Action and Cognition Lab with an active programme of research and supervising students too.

BNA Chief Executive Anne Cooke said: "We have been privileged and lucky to have Narender give so much of his time, friendship, hard work and loyalty to the Association. Although he will be greatly missed, the influence he has had and the changes he has brought about will continue for years to come. We hope that Honorary Membership will provide a small acknowledgment of how much he has brought to the BNA and neuroscience more widely."

Watch the moment that Narender was surprised by being awarded Honorary Membership by BNA President Rik Henson, at the BNA2022 Annual General Meeting:

About the BNA

The British Neuroscience Association (BNA) is the largest UK organisation representing and promoting neuroscience and neuroscientists. Our members' interests cover the whole range of neuroscience, from ion channels to whole animal behaviour to real-life applications in the clinic and beyond.

The origins of the BNA stretch back to the 1960s, when informal meetings of neuroscientists in the pub became formalised into what was then known as the Brain Research Association. The BNA now has around 2,500 members and looks forward to the next 50 years being even more transformative and exciting than the first. 

*Full list of the BNA's Honorary Members

  • Yvonne Allen
  • Duncan Banks
  • Colin Blakemore
  • John Lagnado (Black Horse Group member)
  • Narender Ramnani
  • Steven Rose (Black Horse Group member)
  • Ian Varndell


< Back to Media