Educating Students, Post-Docs, and the General Public

A major goal of the Caltech Conte Center for Neuroscience is to educate students, post-docs, and the general public, and to build a pipeline for successfully training students to become the next generation of young scientists conducting research on social decision-making and other health-relevant scientific questions. This Conte Center will interface and synergize with several graduate and post-doctoral programs, as well as with efforts for undergraduate student summer research and K-12 outreach.  Promoting diversity is of great importance, and is demonstrated in the gender and minority diversity of the graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and principal investigators involved in this Conte Center.  Outreach diversity is also demonstrated by the Center’s lectures and education with cross-cultural k-12 and higher education communities throughout Los Angeles.  Below is specific information on the outreach the Center is currently involved in.

Undergraduate outreach: All Caltech faculty listed on this application participate in Caltech’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows program, which also has a minority-student program, and more recently has been complemented by the Amgen Scholars Program.

K-12 programs: The Caltech Classroom Connection (CCC), created in 2002, is a science education outreach program partnering Caltech scientists with K-12 teachers in our local public school system. Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows participate in the CCC program. Fellows spend about 1 hr per week in the classroom, coordinate one field trip with the class, and prepare and deliver two hands-on labs each year. A highlight of this is the inclusion of brain imaging at Caltech’s Brain Imaging Center, which will incorporate aspects of the science under this Conte Center.

Community Outreach: The Caltech Conte Center is substantially involved in outreach through a number of mechanisms, some of which are described below.

Caltech public events. Caltech frequently has lectures open to the public. Perhaps most well known among these are the Watson Lectures, a series of lectures held in the largest auditorium on campus, the Beckman Auditorium, and free to the public. These lectures are very well attended by many hundreds of people, and free to watch in video form on Caltech’s streaming theater. The Director of this Conte Center,

Ralph Adolphs, has given a Watson Lecture recently on “The Social Brain”, as have several of the other PIs. To see a list of public lectures, please the link below.

Lectures and meetings outside Caltech. The Caltech Conte Center principal investigators give numerous outside lectures, not only at scientific meetings and other universities, but also at more general public venues. Overall, presentations from the principal investigators range from annual meetings for the Society for Neuroscience, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, the International Meeting for Autism Research, to over 50 different universities and colleges.

Publications.  Please visit our publications page for free access to journal articles published as a part of the Conte Center.

Outreach with organizations near L.A. The Caltech Conte Center will connect with NIH outreach partners, specifically the Latino Behavioral Health Institute (www.lbhi.org).  Students also present findings at SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science), a national society with a 37-year history of supporting minority scientists and science students.

International meeting: In the 5th year of our Conte Center, we are hosting two conferences at Caltech that will feature the science of the Conte Center as well as invited guest lectures.  These conferences will be held immediately before the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (held in San Diego this year).  Both conferences will be at Caltech and their websites provide the program and further information about how to register.

Please visit presfn2016.caltech.edu for more information about these conferences (Conte meeting, and human single-unit meeting).