The Open Hardware Symposium and our Exhibit Generated Excitement, Smiles, and Inspiration
Every year, Backyard Brains reaches farther and farther with our quest to spread DIY neuroscience, and this year, we hopped the pond to the largest neuroscience conference in Europe! Our experiments were a hit at the Forum of European Neuroscience (FENS) held in Berlin, Germany from July 7-11, 2018. Hosted by the German Neuroscience Society, the FENS conference brought together some of the greatest minds into the CityCube Berlin convention center for a week of brain-pumping excitement. Beginning with a presentation at the “Open Hardware Summit,” Backyard Brains set up shop for four days and sincerely WOWed hundreds of visitors. Will, our resident BYB mouthpiece, collected some social media highlights of the experience.
Managed to snap a few of the human demos from @BackyardBrains #openhardware at #FENS2018. Muscles controlling LEDs, robotic claw and then another human arm! Such great insights from approaching neuroscience education in this way. pic.twitter.com/KjgPtA3cBp
— Jenny Molloy (@jenny_molloy) July 7, 2018
This was BYB’s first year attending the conference and we think we made a bit of a splash… Dr. Gage’s talk at the Open Hardware Summit generated a lot of excitement, which resulted in a lot of visits to our exhibit!
Following the caffeine drought of the first day (Seriously only one coffee kiosk in three halls? Thanks CityCube…) we found the energy to keep our neurons firing, doing demos and talking neurosci with all the incredibly passionate attendees at the show.
Fan Favorite for #SciComm:
If we had to pick a best in show, our Human-Human-Interface was tweeted and tagged over and over again #SCICOMM.
Featured in a Viral TED talk (Over 8M views) given by our co-founder, the Human-Human-Interface brings the cutting edge of Neuroscience to your classroom. But there is more to it than just one demonstration! Priced at $260, the Human-Human-Interface also allows you to do Arduino projects, Muscle Physiology labs, and independent Neuroscience Research – just see this example from a 12th grader’s research project!
A Neuroscientist’s Social Media Game is Fire…
But we weren’t the only ones showing off our experiments! Social Media was ablaze with @BackyardBrains tags as attendees and their colleagues shared videos of our experiments with their networks. We are a collective which prizes citizen science and grassroots, social-sharing of neuroscience like this is what we live for!
Here are some of the hits:
— Viktor Al Naqib (@ANotherViktor) July 9, 2018
Felt like a kid at the @BackyardBrains booth at #FENS2018 @FENSorg #FENSVideo today controlling my friend’s muscle activity with the electrical impulses generated by my brain! Affordable and awesome Neuroscience for undergrads, this guys are great… pic.twitter.com/dcGviXwODp
— Diana Alatriste (@disadwing) July 9, 2018
Go check out @BackyardBrains at #FENS2018 and their demos.
In the video one person is controlling the other person’s movement through electric signal picked up by skin electrodes ???
Super cool #SciComm gadgets! pic.twitter.com/i5h4ePRmDS
— Anders Jespersen (@azimuten) July 10, 2018
An Intentional Aesthetic?
We had a lack of tables, so we had to get creative…very DIY, very on-brand. We’ll call it an intentional design choice…. We are so grateful t0 everyone who paid us a visit and rolled up their sleeves for science, and we hope you keep Backyard Brains in mind for the future for any of your #SciComm, Outreach, K12 or Undergraduate Neuroscience Needs! Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments, or new ideas!
— Deborah Apthorp (@deborahapthorp) July 11, 2018