Presentation

The objectives of the SENC, the Spanish Neuroscience Society, are:

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Promote the development of knowledge in the area of Neuroscience, bringing together scientists from different disciplines, and facilitating the integration of research aimed at all levels of nervous system organization.

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Promote education in the field of Neuroscience.

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Promote the relationship with national and international homologous societies and organizations.

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Inform the public about the results and implications of ongoing research in the areas of Neuroscience.

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Letter from the President 

It is for me, at once, both a pleasure and a responsibility to commence my term as President of the SENC in these changing, difficult times. Since its creation over 30 years ago, the Spanish Neuroscience Society (Sociedad Española de Neurociencia, SENC) has contributed greatly to upholding the scientific tradition of the study of Neuroscience which began with Ramón y Cajal and his disciples. Over the next two years, I intend to address aspects of organisation and dissemination that will help to consolidate our society and raise its profile on the social and cultural panorama of our country. To achieve these aims, I believe it necessary to undertake different actions, which I shall now describe, bearing in mind the tools and resources available.

The task of updating the website must be completed. Although copious information has been introduced and it has been made more dynamic, the task is still not finished. This will be a priority, as I believe that it is the best way to engage with our members and to develop programmes and initiatives. A good website is the best way to reach out effectively to the members, together with new technologies such as Twitter and Facebook, platforms where a large number of our members are active. In the same way, we shall maintain and improve the monthly Newsletter as a direct channel to transmit information about all of the activities and opportunities either organised by SENC members or which may be of general interest. We shall attach due importance to this Newsletter, as it is the best way to summarise news and expectations.

Members should see the Spanish Neuroscience Society (SENC) as a platform to develop their ideas or to collaborate with other members.

I should also like to consolidate the work of the different Committees of the Society, made up of members of the Executive Board, together with other members. There is no room here to list all of the participants, but they are very enthusiastic people who are doing an excellent job, providing ideas, organising activities, publishing news and, in short, raising the profile of the Society. Many neuroscientists in our country who are not members and others, even though they are members, see the SENC as simply the organiser of the biennial conference. I believe we must change this conception so that everyone sees the SENC as a platform that will allow them to develop their ideas and collaborate with others. I have in mind to run a campaign to increase membership, highlighting the advantages of joining. To reach the figure of 1,000 members is a challenge to be met over the next two years. 

With respect to human resources, I should like to make special mention of groups which may feel themselves disadvantaged in the field of Neuroscience and also, therefore, in the SENC. For example, women, young persons who are encountering difficulty consolidating themselves, and researchers (both young and old) working in less visible research centres or located in geographical areas with a small critical mass. My aim is to use new technologies and the website, as the main platform, to help all these groups achieve the presence they deserve. 

As well as human resources, we must attend to our financial resources. Our economy rests on membership fees, and they are not sufficient to support the activities which the members themselves organise. There should be an active campaign to capture sponsors to fund, at least, specific activities such as symposia or grants. 

There are two activities which are always associated with the SENC, the biennial Conference, held on odd years, and the Cajal Conference on even years. A specific objective of the current Executive Board is to run these two activities to the highest standard possible, due to the interest which they arouse and the degree of consolidation they have achieved. But much more can be done and further activities will depend, in part, on the proposals put forward by members and by the Executive Board. With all of the resources available, I shall endeavour to make the SENC the best possible platform for the organisation and dissemination of activities related to Neuroscience. The SENC also has different grants and aid programmes, and these should also become a focus of attention for neuroscientists at all levels of training and activity. There will be tasks specially aimed at spreading Neuroscience and we shall participate in dissemination activities (such as the Science Week), and also in training and informative activities targeting students. In fact, several different programmes are already under way, of which details can be found on the website.

To end, it seems that there are a multitude of tasks that I would like to undertake, and there are, but we have 849 members, (which we hope will soon be 1,000) and if we manage to get each one to participate, whether individually or collectively, in an activity, we shall easily achieve the expectations I have described. This is where I appeal for your commitment, to add to mine. 

My warmest regards to all.

Agnès Gruart

President of the SENC

October 2017