The Brain Bank

The Most Amazing Thing in the Universe

The Most Amazing Thing in the Universe

This time last year, I was presenting the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, “Meet Your Brain”that were filmed for the BBC. It was a major life event that took four months of preparation. One of the major hurdles was coming up with demonstrations that would work well for a young audience. To my surprise this was a lot harder than I imagined as there were not that many “off-the-shelf” examples to illustrate the basic principles of neuroscience that we teach our students.

In the end, we came up with three shows-worth of material and demonstrations that went down really well (excellent ratings by the TV pundits & over 4 million viewers). It seems like a distant memory now that I have returned to day job as an academic but I must confess I miss the spotlight and attention that the Christmas Lectures generate.

One legacy is that we have created a free online resource based around the content of the three lectures called “The Brain Bank.” This has all been down to an amazing amount of hard work by my longtime collaborator and friend, Dr. Natalia Gjersoe.

It contains video clips, demonstrations, images and Q&A discussions all aimed at a teenage audience. There are three sections that deal with architecture, functions and the social brain. It is especially good for UK teachers as it explains difficult concepts and tells you which part of the school’s curriculum each of the points cover but it has international appeal. After all, brains are pretty much the same wherever you are!

I really hope it gets used and inspires the next generation of brain scientists.

10 Comments

Filed under In the News, Research

10 responses to “The Brain Bank

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  5. Rox

    At the risk of being again branded as a troll myself, I would point out that most of these comments seem to be irrelevant.

    The Royal Institution does have the limitation of being quite small, and I am very glad that you have been able to make your material so widely available.

    • brucehood

      Yes unfortunately, wordpress does seem to attract marketing bots messages. I have been not so active on this blog because I have been so busy on other projects that have greater mass appeal. I hope to starting contributing again after teaching dies down in a months time.

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    • You wouldn’t be trying to sell a quack medicine for losing weight, would you Zack, man ? Any such stuff either doesn’t work, or is dangerous and should only be available from a doctor. Like, I wonder if this is legal ?

      • Rox

        I couldn’t have put that better myself, Men. I agree with you completely. I don’t know if it is legal, but it shouldn’t be. It’s illegal to advertise cures for cancer.

        • Rox

          I see that “Zack” is doing his best to keep within the law.
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          Lol, as they say.

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