Issue date: 07 March 2003

ISSUE DATE: 07/03/03

What happens to your brain when you miss out on sleep will be revealed during a series of talks organised by the University of the West of England’s Faculty of Applied Sciences. The events will also include the latest news on the effect of drugs or mobile phones on brain health, and have been arranged as part of Brain Awareness Week.

“The events take place between 10 and 13 March, and will have something of interest to everybody”, said organiser Dr Stephen Gomez. “One of the events has been specifically designed to suit secondary school students, and will involve a debate at at-Bristol on the effects of drugs on the brain’s mental capacities. At another session, UWE scientist Dr Richard Osborne will produce evidence to show how having a large brain has allowed humans to adapt and survive in a wide range of conditions and rapidly changing circumstances.

“Other sessions will reveal the results of research on the effect of mobile phones on brain health, and the reasons why humans need their sleep.”

Among the speakers will be scientists from UWE, University of Bristol and London University, and the events are aimed at the general public, professionals, university and secondary school students.

Specially aimed at ‘A’ level Science and Psychology students is a day-long practical workshop on different aspects of brain function entitled ‘The Brain – Just Use It!’ The workshop will consist of hands-on experiments investigating various forms of nerve and brain interaction and has been sponsored by the Physiological Society. All of the events are free of charge, but as places are limited it is essential to book. To reserve a place or for further information, contact Dr Stephen Gomez on 0117 344 2528 or email stephen.gomez.ac.uk

Editor’s notes

1. Events are taking place at UWE and at-Bristol between 10 and 13 March, as part of National Science Week and in conjunction with Brain Awareness Week.

2. National Science Week is co-ordinated by BA (the British Association) and aims to celebrate science and its importance to everyone’s lives. Last year more than 2,500 events were arranged bringing knowledge, skills and inspiration to over 1.4m people.

3. Brain Awareness Week is an annual worldwide celebration of the brain, now in its sixth year. It is an opportunity to let people know what is being done to diagnose, treat and prevent disorders of the brain, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, stroke, schizophrenia and depression, which affect the lives of millions of people. Every March, hundreds of public events to inspire interest in brain research are staged as part of Brain Awareness Week, to draw attention to what is being accomplished in scientific laboratories, and provide information about the brain in ways that all can understand.

4. List of events:

10 March 2003
12.30 –1.30 ‘Mobile phones and your brain health – the saga continues’ talk by Dr Alan Preece of Bristol University, at Frenchay campus
1.30 – 2.30 ‘The brain and why we need sleep’ talk by Dr Chris Alford, Faculty of Applied Sciences, at Frenchay campus
11 March 2003
12.30 –1.30 ‘A brain for all seasons’ talk by Dr Richard Osborne, Faculty of Applied Sciences, at Frenchay campus
1.30 – 2.30 ‘Why your brain needs you! A tale of inborn errors’ talk by Dr John Land, Institute of Neurology, London University, at Frenchay campus
12 March 2003
9.30 –4.00 ‘The brain – just use it!’ workshop for A level students, led by Dr Stephen Gomez, Faculty of Applied Sciences, at Frenchay campus
13 March 2003
‘Do drugs do in your head?’ – schools debate, led by Dr Stephen Gomez, at at-Bristol

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