BNA Christmas Symposium 2019 - Pain, Pleasure and the Agony of Christmas

London at Christmas
Bush House, King's College London - Monday 16th December 2019
In collaboration with King's College London 

Why pain?

Pain has long been recognized as something of an enigma by scientists and clinicians, being both a measurable physiological process, as well as deeply personal and subjective.  Moreover pain can be associated with pleasure, is influenced by cultural expectations, can be manipulated, and can be a weapon of war.  It is also costly at both individual and societal levels; it is estimated that 43% of the UK population experience chronic pain2. 

In recent decades, scientists have delved further than ever into both the physiology and the experience of pain, and this symposium – with a programme devised by Professor Irene Tracey, the ‘Queen of Pain’ – sets out to explore it all.

The day will start by giving delegates a ‘grand tour’ of pain, from its place in our history and culture, through the molecular neuroscience of nociception, the neural circuitry involved, the clinical challenge of managing pain, and the latest treatments available. 

We will go to explore strange pains: phantom limb pain, congenital lack of pain, the placebo effect and the curious relationship of pain with pleasure.  

Finally, Professor Irene Tracey will bring together all the components of the symposium in a plenary session and panel discussion. 

Our speakers are drawn from different institutions across the UK and Europe.


Confirmed speakers include:

Check back for further updates. 



This year we have relocated to the iconic and recently renovated Bush House, former home of the BBC, increasing capacity for the event to 300 delegates.



Credibility Zone sponsors

Zantiks produces affordable units to enable animal behaviour to be measured simply. The company believes that, by facilitating more sophisticated behavioural experiments on less sentient animals and creating an environment for standardised experiments, Zantiks units will help reduce the number of experiments needed to prove outcomes.

A proven hit at the BNA2019 Festival of Neuroscience, the Credibility Zone is a drop-in station at the event, providing the opportunity for delegates to talk to experts about all things credibility.


Sponsorship options

We invite your organisation to be part of this special event. Please download the documents below for full information, and if you would like to discuss sponsorship with the BNA then please email us ( 

Download sponsorship prospectus


Download sponsorship booking form


Meeting Fees - same as 2018's fees! 

  Member Non-member
Undergraduate/ 'A' level student £13.50* £13.50
Postgraduate £16.00 £32.00
Early Career Scientist/ Clinician £26.50 £53.00
Associate member/ public £26.50 £80.00
Full/ Full industry £47.50 £80.00
Retired £13.50 £26.50
Honorary £13.50

*BNA undergraduate members - Please note that the BNA undergrad registration fee (£13.50) is refundable based on successful attendance at the event.  We have introduced this policy to try and avoid no-shows.  The no-show rate in previous has been 20% meaning that there were empty seats which could have easily been filled by people who were on a waiting list and had wanted to come.

Catering and refreshments

Meeting fees include two refreshment breaks, lunch and a wine reception. 

PLEASE BE AWARE that meat will not be provided at lunchtime unless specially requested by indicating in the ‘requirements’ section during registration. The default option will be vegetarian. This is in an effort to reduce the carbon footprint associated with food waste at conferences and events.

All other special dietary requests (vegan, gluten-free, halal etc) can also be catered for by requesting in the ‘requirements’ section during registration.

Please register here

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