The 2010 Brain Awareness Week in Warsaw

Lectures during the 2010 Brain Awareness Week:

Prof. Andrzej Wróbel (Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw) The Awareness of Vision
Prof. Małgorzata Kossut (Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw) Neuroplasticity and Neurorehabilitation
Prof. Jolanta Zawilska (Medical University of Lodz, Institute for Medical Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Lodz) Enhancers and shaman’s herbs – cogito? ergo sum?
Doc. Leonora Bużańska (Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw) The Janus face of the neural stem cell
Prof. Irena Namysłowska (Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw) Eating disorders – anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Soul ailments infecting the body.

All talks were open to the public and took place in the editorial office of Polityka at Słupecka 6. They were addressed to those interested in research on the nervous system, from middle and high school students, through university students, teachers, and students of universities of the third age.

This year, for the first time ever, some lectures (Prof. Andrzej Wróbel’s and Prof. Irena Namysłowska’s) were broadcasted on-line and net users took part in the discussion. Their comments and numerous phone calls showed great interest in this form of attending the lectures and it shall therefore be repeated in the next edition of the Brain Awareness Week. A video recording of the lecture by Prof. Namysłowska will also be available off-line on the web site of the Brain Awareness Week.

Lecture participants were given brochures prepared by the DANA Alliance, popularising knowledge about the brain and ways of keeping it in excellent condition. The brochures also included hints and information on coping with the nervous system diseases. Even though the publications were available only in English, they aroused great interest.

The 2010 International Brain Awareness Week could not have taken place without contests, which aimed to kindle interest in knowledge about the brain among young people. This year we have expanded the scope of the contests and announced them not only in Warsaw and the Mazovia Region but also elsewhere in Poland. Our four contests targeted a wide spectrum of children and youth:
- a literary contest “People, discoveries, anecdotes – history of Polish neurophysiology”
- an IT competition for a web page design for the 2011 Brain Awareness Week, “Show your good side”
- an art contest for the 2011 Brain Awareness Week poster,
- music contests for a song with “neuronal” themes, “What’s playing in the head?".

An independent evaluation committee was appointed for each competition and consisted of experts in the respective areas. Judges for the literary contest were joined by two editors from Polityka: Paweł Walewski and Marcin Rotkiewicz. The scientific accuracy was assured by Prof. Teresa Górska and Doc. Małgorzata Skup (contest chairperson), while the literary value of the entries was judged by Ola Janusz.

We were honoured to have Prof. Jan Madey from Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics of the University of Warsaw, President of the Polish Children’s Fund, on the web page evaluation committee along with Piotr Marzec, an expert in web sites utility from Google and Piotr Kurdel, IT specialist from Netiology. Organisation of the IT competition was supervised by Gabriela Mochol.

The best art work from over a hundred entries was selected by a jury consisting of: Doc. Tomasz Werka and Katarzyna Biegańska from the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology and Olga Wróblówna, an artist and designer from the Sojuz company.

The results were announced during an award ceremony at the Polityka editorial office on Tuesday, March 16 (literary contest), Wednesday, March 17 (IT competition) and Thursday, March 18 (art contest). Marek Matuszak, 3rd year student of Secondary School No 2 in Gubin won an award for his essay on Polish neurophysiologists. Kamil Kufel, a thirteen year old student from Secondary School No 50 in Bydgoszcz won the 1st place in the IT competition, Jakub Foltyn and Kamil Jędrkiewicz, students of the Mechanical and Electric School in Żywiec took second place ex aequo with Patryk Rypień and Marcin Czarniecki from the same school. The best posters were sent by Karolina Posiadała from an elementary school in Skórzec and Magda Rolle-Oszywa from a secondary school in Wierzchucin Królewski.

Winners received diplomas and awards: books (supplied by Prószyński and S-ka Publishing House and the University of Warsaw Publishers), subscription to the journals Wiedza i Życie and Świat Nauki (funded by Wikom, a company specialising in computer image analysis and an interdisciplinary faculty of Neurocognitive Science of the Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities, combining cognitive psychology with neurobiology) and gifts funded by the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology and the Sojuz and Google companies. Winning entries in the IT and art contests will be used as the official web site and official poster for the 2011 edition of the Brain Awareness Week.

We would like to thank the following web portals for spreading information about the 2010 Brain Awareness Week and our lectures and contests: Polityka.pl, Polish Press Agency Service – Science in Poland, Gazeta.pl, Naukowy.pl, Biolog.pl, Supermózg.pl, gablotka szkolna web site, the school section of the Wirtualna Polska portal, the Education Committee in Warsaw, nationwide education offices, the following journals and papers: Świat Nauki, Polityka, Forum, Stołeczna as well as Program 1 of the Polish Radio and TVP Info television station.

For more information please visit the 2010 Warsaw Brain Awareness Week web site at http://www.ptbun.org.pl/tm2010. Please visit our photo gallery and exhibition of works entered in the art contest.

I would like to thank all those who have donated their time and energy to help organise the 2010 edition of the Brain Awareness Week in Warsaw, contributing to its success.

Wioletta Waleszczyk
Chairperson of the Organisation Committee for the 2010 Brain Awareness Week in Warsaw

PHOTO 1. Andrzej Gorzym, Editor-in-Chief of the science section of Polityka during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Brain Awareness Week in Warsaw.
PHOTO 10. Doc. Małgorzata Skup announces the winners of the literary contest.
PHOTO 11. Prof. Jan Madey and Kamil Kufel, the winner of the IT competition.
PHOTO 12. Prof. Jan Madey and the four laureates of the IT competition from Żywiec.
PHOTO 13. Andrzej Foik announces the winners of the art contest. Karolina Posiadała from the Elementary School in Skórzec, the winner of the art contest, standing in the back.
PHOTO 14. Exhibition of art works in the editorial office of Polityka.