We are bringing to all you here some news about FALAN activities and decisions. It is now clear that the virus has not only caused a deadly pandemic, but also, that it may persist longer. It is amazing how over such a brief period the disease has ravaged populations worldwide and how impotent our leaders and health services have been in reining it in. Please stay healthy, follow credible recommendations and remain vigilant about false information associated with COVID-19. We hope to see you all September 2021!
1. FALAN-2020 was postponed to September 2021
Given the seriousness of the COVID19 and the uncertainty as to when it will be possible to travel without concern for contracting it, the FALAN and the Organizing Committee, in accordance with the regional Neurosciences Societies, decided to postpone the FALAN-2020 meeting until September 12-15 2021. If the disease has not died out by then, there may be a vaccine available.
It is important to say that besides scientific activities at FALAN 2021, other activities will be focus on events related to: (1) Education and training in neuroscience across Latin-America (FALAN2021); FALAN/ALBA/Young IBRO Network event; FALAN/IBRO GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE (Global engagement and outreach in support of basic research in the brain sciences in Latin America and Caribbe); (2) Discussion of the Regions specific challenges and solutions in Latin America and Caribbean countries against discrimination Gender, Diversity; (3) the Latin American Brain Initiative (LATBrain; Daniel Olazabal- Instituto Clemente Stable, Uruguay; FALAN Committee) and (4) the Latin Neuroscience Labs Online catalogue (described bellow).
2. FALAN: Latin American map of neuroscience Research
We would like to announce that FALAN committee organized a FALAN Networking website. Subject; Major technics; Key words; Contact FALAN Networking website. We would like to announce that FALAN committee organized a FALAN Networking website. The main objective of the site is to create a network of collaboration between these scientists. The website has the objective to bring together Latin American and Caribbean neuroscientists and broadcast their work On this website all members of Latin American and Caribbean societies can include information on activities developed in each group, each laboratory, publications, main interests, available facilities, lines of research and several other information. It is in the implementation phase (Patricia Cassina and Paola Hager- FALAN committee). The forecast is that it will be fully operational around August 20.
It means that we will have a map of the scientists from FALAN AFFILIATED SOCIETIES: Argentina: Sociedad Argentina de Investigación en Neurociencias (SAN); Brazil: Sociedade Brasileira de Neurociências e Comportamento (SBNeC); Chile Sociedad Chilena de Neurociencia (SCN); Colombia: Colegio Colombiano de Neurociencias (COLNE); Cuba: Sociedad de Neurociencias de Cuba (SONECUB); Mexico: Sociedad Mexicana de Ciencias Fisiológicas (SMCF) and Sociedad Mexicana de Neurociencias y Neurobiología (SMNN); Uruguay: Sociedad de Neurociencias de Uruguay (SNU). Also from FALAN ASSOCIATED MEMBERS as Bolivia: Sociedad Boliviana de Neurociencias; Costa Rica: Centro de Investigación en Neurociencias; Peru: Sociedad para la Neurociencias del Perú (ANP).
3. The FENS Executive Committee FALAN
(i) The FENS Executive Committee approved FALAN requested meeting support. FENS contacted FALAN with regards to the request for support we submitted to FENS for the 3rd FALAN Congress, initially scheduled for September 2020 and now postponed to 2021. FENS inform us that at its recent meeting, the FENS Executive Committee has approved your request for financial support of €5000 for the meeting. If possible, part of the money may be given to a FALAN-FENS Student Best Poster Premium.
FALAN is mostly financially supported by IBRO, throught IBRO’s Latin America Regional Committee (LARC) GRANTS PROGRAMM. FALAN would like to remember IBRO-LARC initiatives (Short Stays program, Neurosciences Schools, the IBRO-LARC Short Courses and the Exchange Fellowships; see more activities at the LARC site). FALAN members are invited to apply.
(ii) The FENS FALAN agreement. The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and the Federation of Latin American and Caribbean Neuroscience Societies (FALAN) have agreed to establish a system whereby FENS members may benefit from reduced registration rates for the annual meeting of FALAN and members of FALAN may register for the FENS Forum at FENS members rates. The reduced registration rate can only be given to a member of FALAN if he/she does not reside in a country where there is a member society of FENS present.
4. A New FALAN member: New neuroscience initiative from Honduras
A group of young scientists from Honduras wants to build a Neuroscience Center at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (group/society). They would like to become officially part of the FALAN. The group is composed 13 members as pointed bellow:
1. Selvin Reyes García PhD
2. Virna López PhD
3. German Moncada PhD
4. Cristian Cruz PhD
5. Isaac Zablah PhD
6. Susy Handal MD
7. Rafael Rugama MD
8. Hebel Urquia MD
9. Marco Medina Montoya MD
10. Sandra Rojas MD
11. Yolly Molina MSc
12. Carlos Agudelo MSC
13. Marcio Madrid MSC
Prof Sir Salvador Moncada is the senior advisor.
5. FALAN participation of the IBRO COVID-19 Video Series: Global Neuroscience Experiences
Episode 5: Amaicha Depino, Argentina Childcare challenges, mute lecturing and reducing pressures. https://ibro.org/ibro-covid-19-series/
Episode 11: Elaine Del-Bel, Brazil Solidarity, postponing the FALAN 2020 Congress, and building a Latin American Neuroscience community https://ibro.org/ibro-covid-19-series/
The interview is part of our COVID-19 series, and some basic questions were asked. The questions are below: 1. What are the COVID-related regulatory conditions under which you are or have been living in Brazil? 2. How are you continuing your research or work? Are you working from home or the lab? What are the biggest challenges you’re facing and how are you addressing them? 3. How are you maintaining your social life? Do you keep in touch with your professional colleagues, lab teams, family, friends and other contacts? Does this make a difference and, if so, in what ways? 4. What kind of impact do you think the COVID-19 pandemic will have on future neuroscience research?
6. FALAN Participation: Live discussion session: “Meet the ALBA Network Ambassadors”
Recently founded by a group of leading scientists, the ALBA Network aims to promote equality and diversity in the brain sciences. In this meeting the scientists behind the ALBA Network initiatives discussed questions related to diversity in brain research. In this session, you meet: Dr. Dipesh Chaudhury (United Arab Emirates), Dr Francesca Cirulli (Italy), Dr Elaine Del-Bel (Brazil-FALAN), Dr. Jacque Ip (Hong Kong), Dr Srikanth Ramaswamy (Switzerland), Dr Laurence Ris (Belgium). They talked about issues such as women in leadership, work-life balance or science discrimination (Does the country matter?).
FALAN was mostly focused in Science discrimination discussion (Does the country matter?). Discrimination is a global issue. Any nationality can experience discrimination regardless of country or culture. Discrimination based on national origin affects everyone, whether black, white, Latino or Asian. Discrimination can and does include all races as well as genders, customs, dress or other ethnical aspect. Science is a borderless activity and has long served as a role model for international cooperation. We proposed a discussion related to: The discrimination and the disparities in access to publication opportunities is a real challenge; the importance of a person’s name in an abstract; the exchange-focused collaborations should move from the directional depletion of human scientific resources called “brain drain” to the more equitable model of “brain connectivity and circulation”.
In a utopian world, in a future reimagined, bias, discrimination or prejudice regardless of name, identity wouldn’t exist. But it does and admitting it exists means examining our reaction to different, to other. Unconscious bias education aims to increase awareness of how our minds work, would help people and organizations adopt practices that improve decision-making.
7. FALAN participated in the Business international discussion with representatives from FENS, FAONS and SONA, FENS2020 Forum (9th July 2020)
FALAN President – Elaine Del-Bel, Brasil
SONA Secretary General – Amadi O. Ihunwo South Africa
FAONS President – Adhi W. Nurhidayat, Indonesia
FENS President – Carmen Sandi; President-elect Jean-Antoine Girault
Secretary‐General – Eero Castrén; Secretary-General elect Dora Reglödi
FKNE – Maximilian Jösch
Executive Director – Lars Kristiansen
Office Manager – Natasha Slater
Project Manager – Mathilde Maughan
In this meeting the agenda was composed by news from the partners: FALAN [Latin America and Caribbe], SONA [Africa), FAONS [Asia and Oceania] and FENS. It was discussed. Opportunities for interaction and collaboration were suggested. It will be presented in our next FALAN bulletin.
8. We reproduce here part of the message from Tracy L. Bale, IBRO President on 6 March 2020
“To our global neuroscience community:
IBRO recognizes the global impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, and we are following its progression closely. We respect the recommendations and assessments of the World Health Organization and adhere to regional, national and local government policies being developed and implemented in response to changing conditions. Because the situation is actively evolving, we encourage our global community to be guided by the same approach.
We hope that the COVID-19 outbreak will come to an end quickly, and we will circulate any IBRO-related updates as soon as they arise. In the meantime, please stay healthy, follow credible recommendations and remain vigilant about false information and scams associated with COVID-19. You can find relevant links listed below for further consideration.”
COVID-19 Information Links
Maps & Trackers
Johns Hopkins University CSSE
World Health Organization (WHO) https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd
International Air Transport Association (IATA) https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document-news/1580226297.htm
World Health Organization (WHO) https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
National Authorities in Latin America:
Argentina, Ministry of Health (Spanish) https://www.argentina.gob.ar/salud
Bolivia, Ministry of Health (Spanish) https://www.minsalud.gob.bo/
Brazil, Ministry of Health (Portuguese) https://www.saude.gov.br/
Chile, Ministry of Health (Spanish) https://www.minsal.cl/
Colombia, Ministry of Health (Spanish) https://www.minsalud.gov.co/paginas/default.aspx
Costa Rica, Ministry of Health (Spanish) https://www.ministeriodesalud.go.cr/
Cuba, national health network (Spanish) http://www.sld.cu/
Ecuador, Ministry of Public Health (Spanish) https://www.salud.gob.ec/
Honduras, Secretary of Health (Spanish) http://www.salud.gob.hn/site/
Mexico, Secretary of Health (Spanish) https://www.gob.mx/salud/documentos/nuevo-coronavirus
Paraguay, Ministry of Public Health and Social Wellbeing (Spanish)
Peru, Ministry of Health (Spanish) https://www.gob.pe/8662
Uruguay, Ministry of Health (Spanish) https://www.gub.uy/ministerio-salud-publica/