A remarkable showcase of collaborative knowledge-sharing

Publication date
Friday, 15 Sep 2023

In a remarkable showcase of collaborative knowledge-sharing, the Brain Teaser 2023 event unfolded during Science Week, leaving a mark on curious minds for the third consecutive year. Spearheaded by dedicated PhD students and postdoctoral researchers from the John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR) and the ANU School of Medicine and Psychology, the event lived up to its reputation as a resounding success.

The Brain Teaser 2023 aimed to demystify the intricate realms of the brain and nervous system for the general public. Drawing an enthusiastic audience of over 200 attendees, the event was a testament to the insatiable hunger for knowledge about the inner workings of our minds and bodies. Researchers from diverse fields shared their expertise, spanning from utilizing fruit flies to unravel the secrets of brain cancer, to unravelling the complexities of empathy and even delving into the enigmatic philosophy of consciousness itself.

The Clear Vision Research students at the Brain Teaser 2023 event.

A special highlight was the presence of Dr Alan Finkel, the former Chief Scientist of Australia, who enriched the event with insights into the evolving landscape of brain-computer interfaces. His perspective illuminated the fusion of cutting-edge technology with the human mind, unveiling a realm of possibilities that left attendees both intrigued and inspired.

Professors John Bekkers and Dr Alan Finkel at the Brain Teaser 2023.

The event's resounding success lay in its interactive nature, seamlessly bridging the gap between researchers and the public. Attendees of all ages had the opportunity to directly engage with presenters and volunteers through captivating interactive booths and extensive question times for each presenter. The feedback received was a chorus of positivity, underscoring the engaging presentation style and the value of first-hand interaction with the experts.

Professors Ehsan Arabzadeh and Daniel Stoljar discussing consciousness at the Brain Teaser 2023.

The Brain Teaser 2023 organisers and volunteers. (Missing Nathan Reynolds, Riemke Aggio-Bruce, Katherine Reynolds)

As someone who has been involved in the event's inception in 2021, I want to extend commendations to the tireless efforts of the organising committee, the dedicated staff of the neuroscience department, and the invaluable volunteers who generously dedicated their Saturday to sharing knowledge. This year's Brain Teaser event sets an elevated benchmark for future iterations, assuring a legacy of continued success in the years to come. The pursuit of understanding the mind and nervous system is an ongoing journey, and the Brain Teaser 2023 played a pivotal role in propelling that journey forward, igniting a flame of curiosity in the public that will burn brightly into the future.

By Dr Nathan Reynolds

This article first appeared on The Clear Vision Research