In Nov 2017, over 30,000 neuroscientists gathered in Washington D.C. to talk all things brain at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) meeting. I’ve attended SfN for what is now on the order of decades. Having reluctantly accepted veteran status for the annual meeting, I thought this year’s SfN was an opportunity to consider where neuroscience has been, where it is, and where it’s going.
The research objectives at SfN — to understand how molecules, cells, and circuits drive complex behavior — are broad and overwhelming. Even today, I choke up recalling that inevitable question I’d get from my graduate school advisor after a meeting — what did you learn? Such a question is challenging for any meeting, and a strong perspective, particularly for SfN, is necessary to even consider it.