Blue Brain in the Community
The Blue Brain Project is a research centre at the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), which is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH) and is primarily funded by the Swiss government.
We strive to contribute to society in many ways, in particular, through scientific knowledge sharing, dissemination of data, models and tools and, by meeting the interest in the Project from many parties both in Switzerland and from around the world, through an extensive community engagement program. This approach is in accord and endorsement of the ETH Board strategic objective, (which is also in line with the priorities of the Swiss Federal Council), ‘Role in society and national tasks’. This includes the requirement to interact with society and spread acquired scientific knowledge and promote the interest of students in the subjects of mathematics, IT, engineering, natural and technical sciences. Further endorsed by EPFL President, Martin Vetterli in the EPFL magazine. “I think that scientists have to undertake the role of communicating to the general public, who ultimately finances our research.”
At the Campus Biotech, Geneva
Blue Brain regularly hosts educational visits from schools, universities and local initiatives. On average, we welcome more than 500 students every year from all over the world. During these visits, we present the Project, the work we do and results generated. Blue Brain scientists and engineers are on hand for every visit to meet visitors and answer questions as part of our commitment to encouraging participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects and developing the visitors’ interest in neuroscience in particular. With some organizations, we have established a relationship whereby we are part of their yearly programs, for example, the New York Times Student Journeys travel program, the LifeLab Foundation (science initiatives for students in South Asia), ATIDIM national educational project from Israel, and schools in Switzerland including, the International School of Geneva and Köniz Gymnasium, Bern.
At the Blue Brain Project, we also share the managerial perspective of such a complex project with business students or entrepreneurs. Among our visitors, we have welcomed MBA students from IMD Lausanne, R&D Directors from major companies, Swiss and French entrepreneurs’ groups and the Winterschool for Thinktankers (foraus, Swiss Forum on Foreign Policy).
Outside the Campus Biotech
We also present the Project outside of our premises. The EPFL Science and Outreach department regularly organizes thematic days in high schools which emphasize an interdisciplinary approach to science & technology. These thematic days are aimed at high school students of all backgrounds and attending is part of our strong commitment to encouraging interest and continued education in STEM subjects.
If you would like to organize a visit or invite us to present the Project, click here
You can find further information about the events the Blue Brain will be attending here.
Public events in Switzerland
Based in Geneva, we take the opportunity to attend many public events in Switzerland to interact with the public and present the Project.
This is our way to contributing to fostering the importance of research within society. In the last couple of years, we have met thousands of people at events such as the EPFL Open Days, Planète Santé and the Nuit des Musées. Furthermore, events such as the Cité des Métiers which is Switzerland’s largest exhibition of professions, trades and training where adults and students can see various jobs in action and ask advice from professionals in their respective fields, are an ideal for platform for us to encourage participation in STEM subjects within education and explain the potential careers available.
Individual visits to BBP
For individual visitors, once a month we open the doors of the Blue Brain Project visitor center for a guided tour.
Please contact us here for further details.
DataSquare at the main EPFL campus, Lausanne
The Blue Brain Project also has a presence on the main EPFL campus in Lausanne, in the ArtLab building DataSquare pavilion. The ArtLab aims to build bridges between ‘hard’ science, humanities and arts and is open to visitor groups for guided visits. We are represented there as one of the two flagship projects of EPFL.
More information about DataSquare: here
Guided tours can be booked: here
Scientific Community Engagement and Knowledge Sharing
A Swiss research project that collaborates internationally, Blue Brain recognizes that knowledge sharing is an important driving force to consolidate and promote simulation neuroscience, which in turn, is fundamental to understanding the brain as a complex multi-scale system. Therefore, we regularly organize Scientific Conferences and Seminars as well as workshops and discussions. Throughout the year, we regularly welcome professors and researchers from major research centres and universities from all over the world.
Following our open science policy, over the years, we have consistently released models, data, tools and software for public use. The Blue Brain Portal, released in 2018, brought all of these under one umbrella, providing a knowledge space for simulation neuroscience, which is open to everybody.
The NM² Conference series brings together researchers to bridge a variety of disciplines using state-of-the-art techniques in different brain regions, towards the common goal of understanding the mechanisms and principles of neuromodulation. Our fundamental objective is to organize a dynamic conference series that will highlight an up-to-date view of the neuromodulation of brain states, establish future directions, and attract new talent to drive forward this important field.
The third Conference will be held in 2021.
Blue Brain Seminar Series
The Blue Brain Seminar Series in Neural Computation was launched in 2019 and we have welcomed many speakers from around the world.
All seminars are open events, held at the Blue Brain offices in the Campus Biotech, Geneva.
Simulation Neuroscience is an emerging approach to integrate the knowledge dispersed throughout the field of neuroscience. Available for students interested in Simulation Neuroscience are unique, massive open online courses (MOOC’s) taught by a multi-disciplinary team of world-renowned scientists. The first two in the series can be found below and more are planned for 2020.