CNS*2020 OCNS Members' meeting

Follow up on OCNS Members’ meeting

Soledad and Ankur - could you post the SIG suggestions on here (if you have access to them from the crowdcast questions)? I can’t see them anymore.

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Sure, @Volker. Doing it below:

The idea of SIGs is:

  • members with common interests can come together to work on something, whatever they like, however they like, regularly throughout the year,
  • the Board will help them receive the resources they need to carry out their projects/tasks.
  • if a Board member is interested in a SIG also, they automatically act as a liaison for the SIG, but if not (there aren’t too many Board members), SIGs can contact the Board directly (as members can also do now).

Generally, for SIGs to be useful and productive, they need a “critical mass” of members who keep it active. Once this has been achieved, SIGs tend to be self-sustaining—people that get busy become inactive temporarily, but new members join to keep activity up. Regular discussion, short and long term projects with informal division of labour all help to keep a SIG active.

SIGs generally need a channel of communication for them to discuss topics. They can either use Neurostars, or a mailing list, or another platform. (A public platform is preferable where one does not need to be invited to join; live chat works, but if the members are spread out over various time zones, asynchronous channels fit better).

From the members’ meeting, these are the suggestions we received/proposed. Please reply to this topic with your ideas. You can “quote” the relevant text in this topic by highlighting it with your mouse and clicking the “quote” option that pops up.

Infrastructure/Tools/Software SIG:

@sanjayankur31 (Ankur)

Folks interested in the software side of things can come together to do a variety of things—discuss tools, learn how to use them, learn how they work, learn software development, help each other find and fix bugs and so on. If you’re interested, please vote up. (Remember, no tools, no computational neuroscience :P)

@pgleeson noted that there are infrastructure SIGs at INCF already. So perhaps there would be some overlap, but I guess we’ll only focus on computational modelling related tools whereas INCF also focus on lots of other neuroscience domains (neuroinformatics in general).

Outreach SIG

Will do all things outreachy: social media, marketing, education, tutorials, podcasts, etc etc. etc. as long as members are happy to come together to make it all happen.

This includes education, which was suggested in a different question by Annalisa Scimemi:

I like the idea of having an educational component (e.g. network modeling) for undergraduate students. They are the next generation of neuroscientists and having this experience may encourage them to stay and contribute to the field for years to come.

@fskinner also noted:

re outreach - maybe resources can be compiled? for example, neuromatch academy etc.

Clinical computational SIG

Suggested by Xenia Kobeleva (@xkob ):

I would like to suggest a SIG for clinical computational neuroscience if this might be of interest for OCNS

Student and ECR career development,

by Tom Burns (perhaps also something for the Outreach SIG)?

“throughout the year value” (e.g. regional/local events with a web component), partnerships/cross-benefits with other societies

Industry SIG

(perhaps overlaps with the previous one?)

@MariaPs suggested:

There are people who envision a career in industry (or have to consider it due the limited faculty positions). Could this maybe be a SIG topic?

Diversity SIG

There was a question regarding promoting diversity in the organisation and computational-neuroscience in general by @xkob. So I suggest that we could also have a SIG focused on actively promoting under-represented parts of society in computational neuroscience.

(If I’ve tagged someone wrongly here, please do let me know so I can edit the post)

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The Industry SIG could also include applied computational neuroscience subjects, neurobotics, neuromorphic; whatever derives from computational neuroscience and it is applicable to industry.

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Thanks for posting these, Ankur!


Thanks Ankur! I am happy to contribute to the clinical and diversity SIG if more people are interested in these topics:). Maybe we should also distribute the information on the SIGs across members via email and twitter.

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Yes, we’ll e-mail out after the conference :+1:

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I understand Anca has already tweeted about it?

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Yes, we’ve done that already. The first step would be to set up an initial communication channel for each SIG and invite our members to join them if they’d like to participate in the individual SIGs. They’d introduce themselves and summarise what their interests in the SIG are. That’ll help each SIG filter ideas into projects and then organise SIG members to carry them out.

Perhaps a new topic here for each SIG would do for a start, and once the SIGs have some members, they can decide if they want to use a different platform in the long run for their discussions?

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I think one topic for each SIG would be a good idea. Could you set that up?

I think it’ll be best if each person that wants to start the SIG sets them up, so that they are the driver from the start.

@MariaPs @xkob: could you please setup topics for your SIGs and tweet them etc.? We’ll include all the topics in the e-mail that is sent out to members.

(Tom will need to be poked to get on neurostarts, not been able to find him yet.)

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That’s a good point as the proposers can then add their description of the SIG.

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Infra SIG topic here:

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I think this would be great. Typically, CNS has an outreach Student/Postdoc Workshop. This should be more present. The committee can also take another direction. That is, to match one student/postdoc to a more seasoned researcher for advice/guidance regarding career. This is the direction would be of most interest to me to help with. Along with other outreach events. OCNS has many researchers as members :slight_smile: and under the board supervision I think these are possible. (Anca btw)

Here is the Industry SIG topic:

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Reference for ideas: the OHBM Open Science SIG:

@adm @xkob

we’re going to e-mail the OCNS membership next week about the SIGs. Could you please set up meet and greet topics for your SIGs too for interested people to post their introductions etc. on?

Dear Ankur,

sorry, I was on a (long) vacation. I envision the clinical computational SIG as a group of people interested in working on clinical topics. Topics of discussion might be: proposal of a workshop focussed on clinical applications, discussion of current roadblocks to translating models into clinical science, setting up a collaboration platform, etc. I have opened up a separate discussion for that, thanks!

Best wishes

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Hello! Sounds great! I’ve tweeted your new post at the CNS twitter account, so it should get some visibility too. Please do let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

Hi Ankur, how can I join any SIG ?

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