The FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence is a dynamic and prestigious network of 30 outstanding early to mid-career European neuroscientists. The Network is self-organised and aims to improve Neuroscience in Europe and beyond through scientific exchange, providing opportunities for young scientists, and facilitating dialogue between scientists, policy-makers, and society.
Genzel: “I have been hearing about the FKNE from many sources and have followed its efforts at the FENS meetings, in the editorials as well as on social media. After looking into it further, I became very excited and enthusiastic about the program since I saw that many current fellows are scientist I respect greatly and would love to interact with more, but also since I noticed it fits perfectly into what I want to achieve as a scientist with outreach and teaching.” In her application she proposed two subjects to address with the network:
Establishing points of access to science
As a member of the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence, Genzel would like to work on two subjects. The first is to improve points of access to science. Genzel: currently, the country you are born and raised in, will largely influence how accessible a career in science is. To be able to be competitive in future job applications, where you got your education and where you managed to be trained will be decisive. Thus, to equalize the playing field and on the long run, make science more diverse and inclusive, we need to establish more access points to science by e.g., providing funds to allow students from countries with less access to do internships in Europe. Such experience can later open many doors when applying for graduate programs and other positions.
Increase communication on animal research
The second subject Genzel would like to work on with the network is about animal research. Genzel: “Currently there is a trend in Europe for animal-rights groups have gained more political power and are pushing for immediate ban on animal research. The reason these groups are becoming more successful, is that traditionally animal researchers are very closed-off and quiet about their work. Thus, the public only hears one side of the story. To ensure that we will still be able to advance our knowledge in Neuroscience in the future, we need animal research, and we also need to communicate more about the research that we do. The FENS-Kavli network is in a unique position to push for more communication and potentially can rally larger groups of researchers to react to this crisis that any individual researcher can.