Hey SfN, Fuck all y’all

[UPDATED WITH ACTION ITEMS]

1. Refuse to peer review for the Journal of Neurscience (tell them why)
2. Do not buy any SfN merchandise, not even the “critical period” onesie, which is not even that clever. You only think it’s clever by the standards of comedy one expects from a scientific society.
3. At the next annual meeting (I’ll remind you), do not allow any vendors to scan your badge. Tell them why.

Encourage prominent neuroscientists (for example SfN Presidential Special Lecturers, or Kavli Prize winners, or both*) who disagree with this dumbassery to add their voice!

*
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I am pretty pissed off about the Society for Neuroscience’s decision to abandon the city of New Orleans as a site for their annual meeting. I love New Orleans and have strong family ties to the city, and events like SfN are a huge part of its economy. Besides being instructive in perceived v. real risk, something very particular pissed me off about this announcement:

the Society’s deep appreciation for the city of New Orleans

You know what? Fuck you. Institutions don’t get to “appreciate,” “thank,” or admire the “unique history and culture” of anything. These are things humans do. The “appreciation” of something like SfN is like being “appreciated” by an automated phone menu.

SfN has one way and one way only to “appreciate” New Orleans and it’s people: have the meeting there. Because it can’t have feelings, its fake press release feelings don’t matter. False sentiment is insult added to injury.

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3 Comments on “Hey SfN, Fuck all y’all”

  1. Dan says:

    Completely agree. New Orleans is about the only thing that made that (unfortunately requisite) mega-meeting tolerable. But put your money where your mouth is and rescind your membership in protest! I would, but I long let my membership lapse because I, frankly, can no longer afford it.

  2. qaz says:

    It’s funny. For years, SFN alternated between three southern cities (Miami, NOLA, and SD) because they were worried about snowstorms in November. (There was also a rumor that certain leaders didn’t like the cold, but the official statement was snowstorms.) Now SFN is going to alternate between three northern cities (well, one northern, one mid, and SD).

    SFN stopped going to Miami after Tropical Storm Gordon (which didn’t disrupt the meeting at all, for the record, but apparently scared some powers-that-be). Now they won’t go to NOLA.

    SFN needs to remember that weather occurs in every city. DC is the absolute worst snow city in the US – it is right on the edge of being worth keeping snowplows, and they prefer to shut the city down. Believe me, if it snows while SFN is in DC, it would definitely disrupt the meeting. Of course, snow never happens in Chicago…. yeah, right.

    I love NOLA. It is by far the best place for an SFN meeting. It’s very very unfortunate that the powers-that-be decided to reject NOLA.

  3. ac says:

    fwiw, right after I came back from sfn this year I was hearing rumours about how the organizers were upset with how things went down. From interrupting in-session seminars to expand meeting room, the total lack of wifi after 10am, etc etc, I heard from a few different places that people were upset with the professionalism of the nola conference center.

    They don’t like chicago because the venue is more expensive and there’s no good nearby housing, but they seemed fairly upset with the mistakes that the nola conference was making

    or perhaps they were just setting it up for the fall


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