The 2016 Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society just took place in my home city of New York. It was my first time attending a conference in the city where I live (funny how national conferences never took place in Iowa...) which was an interesting experience. While I didn't present at the meeting, I devoted most of my time to my role as President of the CNS Trainee Association.
The CNS Trainee Association consists of myself, Vice President Tony Cunningham and 10 committee members comprised of undergraduates, grad students, and postdocs. Traditionally, the duty of the CNS TA has been to plan a social event during the meeting. This year we sought to increase our programming and build infrastructure to continually improve our work over the following years.
We organized one new event this year, a Professional Development Panel. Professors Robert Knight (UC Berkeley), Jessica Payne (Notre Dame) and Tali Sharot (UCL) served on the panel and discussed their careers and advice for trainees. Since this was our first time hosting this event, we were unsure what to expect in terms of participation from Trainees. The response was overwhelming! We'll definitely be organizing this event again next year, but in a bigger room and with more time for the panel to speak.
We also hosted a Trainee Social night at McGee's Pub near the conference. Again, we greatly surpassed expectations in terms of attendance. Part of this is likely due to the great flyers made by Sarah Kark and increased promotion during the meeting.
Overall, I would say our CNS TA events were a huge success this year. We've received lots of positive feedback and are already planning improvements for next year's meeting in San Francisco. If you're interested in getting involved in the CNS TA, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. And make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.