The Brain Matters Seminar Series emanating from the JIAS Colloquium on ‘Why The Brain Matters’ was launched at the School of Public Health of the University of the Witwatersrand on 23 March 2017.

The event was attended by neuropsychologists, neuroscientists, psychiatrists, philosophers, radiologists, biomedical engineers, epidemiologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists as well as faculty and students from the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Johannesburg and the University of Pretoria.

The launch was chaired by Prof Linda Richter, Director of the NRF Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Human Development at Wits University. Prof Peter Vale, director of JIAS, gave an overview of the Colloquium and its aftermath.

The keynote address was delivered by Prof Willem Hendrik Gispen of Utrecht University, former president of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, and convener of the Colloquium. He also presented copies of the final Colloquium report to Dr Tanya Calvey of the Wits School of Anatomical Sciences and Dr Sahba Besharati of the CoE in Human Development, organisers of the Seminar Series and participants in the Colloquium.

Drs Calvey and Besharati gave a presentation on the purpose of the seminar series.

The first two lectures in the series were announced. On 20 April, Prof Vivienne Russell of the University of Cape Town will speak on the history of neuroscience. On 25 May, Prof Paul Manger of the University of the Witwatersrand will speak on the Five Evolutions of Large Brains in Mammals – humans, elephants, cetaceans, seals and camels.

The launch closed with an announcement by Prof Richter of a three-year PhD scholarship in neuroscience, as an outcome of the Colloquium and Seminar Series.