As you probably know, the Council of the Society for Neuroscience decided recently to drop New Orleans from its regular rotation of future sites for the annual meeting. Similar to its justification for cancelling the 2006 and 2009 scheduled meetings in New Orleans following hurricane Katrina, the official reason for pulling New Orleans from the rotation was the threat of future hurricanes that would interfere with the meeting. Setting aside the fact that a natural or unnatural disaster can strike any major city in the country at any time, as we saw recently in New Jersey and New York, just as the Council’s decision to cancel the 2006 and 2009 New Orleans meetings showed an insensitivity to the challenges facing New Orleans following the largest natural and man-made disaster in the history of the country, so the current decision fails to take into consideration the economic, social and scientific impact of such a decision on the city and its neuroscience community as it continues in its difficult course of recovery, or the fact that New Orleans is one of the more popular destination cities for the annual meeting. Also, the Council took this important decision without informing the Society membership of the issue and without input from the Society’s members, circumventing any semblance of democratic process.
If you disagree with the Society’s decision, or with the way the decision was taken, or if you would like to see the Neuroscience meeting come back to New Orleans in the future, please edit the following letter to personalize its message before pressing the send button, at which point it will be emailed to each of the members of the Council.
Thank you for your support.
Jeff Tasker, PhD
Director, Neuroscience Program
Nicolas Bazan, PhD
Director, Neuroscience Center of Excellence
LSU Health Sciences Center
Christian Sheline, PhD
President, Greater New Orleans Chapter, Society for Neuroscience
Associate Professor, LSU Health Sciences Center