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The Brain Observatory®

Research and public engagement

The Brain Observatory® is renowned for producing and sharing unprecedented views of the human brain and for leveraging the data to inform the public. Building on this tradition the new Brain Observatory will build virtual laboratories that will feed directly into the database of images and knowledge created in the context of the Human Brain Library. These will be available to health professionals, educators and investigators.

The Brain Observatory will also sport a brand new paradigm in open science and public engagement by co-locating ongoing basic research with learning and outreach initiatives. We feel that this is crucial. Currently research labs are closed to the public other than for scheduled tours or events (pre-arranged “show and tell” visits). Public participation in real science is a rare event, as the overwhelming majority of research activities remain opaque to the public. Several public exhibits on the brain have been hosted by museums and science centers, primarily showing interactive models of brain structure and function, information that is routinely simplified to 8th grade level. As an alternative, we believe it is important to educate the community about the scientific process and the day-to-day tasks and challenges of scientific experimentation. We believe that this open scientific environment will strengthen the relationship between science and public opinion and it will promote transparency and accountability in basic and medical research. The Brain Observatory will be the first fully functional research lab to be systemically open to the public, a place where research itself, not only its polished results, will be on display. 

The Brain Observatory will host exhibits, conferences, and events aimed at promoting a heightened awareness of brain research and how its results can benefit personal brain fitness and mental health. It will play a key role in making the information from The Human Brain Library available to expert and non-expert audiences. It will be an interactive facility, open to the community for education and research purposes. The core imaging tools and data from The Human Brain Library will be accessible in this space, along with exhibits and other information and resources regarding the brain. One goal is to promote science education by stimulating young students to pursue careers in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics).

Learn how you can participate in this vision and contribute to the success of The Brain Observatory.