During Brain Awareness Week (14-20 March 2022), Glasgow Convention Bureau is taking the time to acknowledge the tireless work of its Conference Ambassadors; the academics that work alongside our venues and with the Glasgow Convention Bureau team to host their academic meetings in our city.
Glasgow’s Conference Ambassadors create collaboration and debate to share knowledge and research innovations through the medium of the conference session room.
Over 70% of meetings held in Glasgow are led, or supported by, one of the city’s academic institutions, and in 2022 a remarkable number of conferences taking place in Glasgow are in the field of neurology; aligning to the city’s world-class research excellence in the sector.
Aileen Crawford, Head of Tourism and Conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau, said: “An ask is often made of the meetings industry to align closer to policy and with key sector strengths within the destination. For the meetings industry, it’s important that we’re clear where the conference world and innovation meet for the betterment of society. When we look at the prestigious neurology and neuroscience meetings taking place in our city this year, they represent the research successes from our academic past, present and future.”
Glasgow’s contribution to the advancement of neurology and neuroscience extends over more than a century:
This year, Glasgow will welcome seven leading neurology or neuroscience related meetings, attracting approximately 10,000 delegates, which will boost the city’s economy by more than £15m through delegate spend.
Neil Brownlee, Head of Business Events at VisitScotland said: “VisitScotland’s ‘Journey to Change’ campaign champions the fact that we meet today, to change tomorrow. For Glasgow, the specialisms of neurology and neuroscience are great examples of academic success from a city that understands the impact of research excellence and innovation and how that can be championed through the meetings industry.”
This year, there are numerous public engagement events linked to these meetings that will help to take the subject matter of the conference outside the walls of the convention centre and into the community.
Dr Lorraine Work, Conference Ambassador for BRAIN & PET BRAIN 2022, from the University of Glasgow is leading a group of local Neuroscientists to run a ‘Build-a-Brain’ outreach project with primary schools in Glasgow. Sessions will be interactive and fun; encouraging children to learn, create and ask questions to a neuroscientist in their classroom.
Following these workshops, a ‘Brain Health Day’ will be brought to life through the unveiling of a giant inflatable brain within Glasgow’s Central Station on Saturday 28 May. Similar satellite events will take place on the day at other city centre locations, where various interactive resources will be available, managed by scientists attending the conference. The public will be encouraged to move between these venues using a specially designed ‘brain map’.
Additionally, Brain Health Scotland, working with Alzheimer Scotland, want to empower Glaswegians to stay healthy and reduce the risk of diseases that can lead to dementia.
Professor Craig Ritchie, Director of Brain Health Scotland said: “This week more than ever is a fantastic time to raise awareness of the benefits of achieving and maintaining great brain health. This will have benefits for Scots of all ages and help reduce the number of people getting dementia in the years ahead. As Director of Brain Health Scotland, I am delighted at the commitment of Glasgow generally and the conference industry specifically in leading on these conversations with the public.”
During Brain Awareness Week they will launch a new guide aimed at encouraging people to make positive lifestyle changes to support better brain health and to commit their personal pledge at www.brainhealth.scot/brainhealthplan.
Kathleen Warden, Director of Conference Sales at the Scottish Event Campus said: “Legacy is at the very core of our academic, medical and scientific conferences because they are the bedrock of progress, whether incremental or transformational. By aligning our strategy with our research and practice excellence, we’re able to draw on the knowledge we have here in Glasgow to create and share reciprocal benefits with the global community.”
Looking to the future, progress continues, with city Conference Ambassador, Professor Anthony Chalmers, Chair of Clinical Oncology at the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Cancer Studies, and his team working on improving treatments for people with a fast-growing type of brain tumour called glioblastoma.
Professor Chalmers is leading cutting-edge clinical trials testing different combinations of radiotherapy and drugs, to find better ways to treat this disease, whilst also being the local host for both the meeting of the European Association for Neuro-Oncology and ESTRO, the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology, taking place in Glasgow in 2024.
He said ~Conferences offer a unique opportunity to sit down with a group of enthusiastic and committed researchers from anywhere in the world to take a clinical problem and turn it into a properly formed research concept. At meetings, we see experimental data for the first time, both clinical or preclinical, and have the opportunity to discuss it with the researchers themselves. Also, standing in front of an audience to present new research findings and explain why they are important is a very enjoyable and important part of our work.”
Neurology and Neuroscience conferences being held in Glasgow in 2022 include: