News Release

Scialog: Neurobiology and Changing Ecosystems to launch in 2025

Business Announcement

Allen Institute

Tucson, AZ—Neural systems, shaped by millions of years of evolution, enable living things to perceive and react to their surroundings. But how does the nervous system adapt to today’s unprecedented challenge of rapid and extensive human-caused environmental changes, including exposure to pollution, toxins, and increasingly unpredictable environments?

In 2025, Research Corporation for Science AdvancementThe Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, and The Kavli Foundation will launch a Scialog initiative to catalyze research to explore neurobiological response to change and advance our understanding of the brain’s chemistry, physiology, and adaptation mechanisms. The first meeting of Scialog: Neurobiology and Changing Ecosystems will be held March 13 – 16, 2025, in Tucson, Arizona.

“Interdisciplinary and transformative research is needed to advance our understanding of adaptive features that may equip organisms to overcome environmental stressors,” said RCSA Senior Program Director Andrew Feig, who leads the initiative.

This three-year Scialog series aims to create a dynamic community of about 50 early career scientists with diverse scientific expertise and perspectives from such fields as cell biology, genetics, neurophysiology, climate science, environmental chemistry, physical modeling, and toxicology. By maximizing interactions between researchers with different experiences and approaches, and who might not normally meet or work together, the process aims to spark creative and novel ideas for transformative research.

At each conference, participants led by a group of senior facilitators will discuss challenges and bottlenecks, build community around visionary goals, and pitch proposals for seed funding to undertake blue-sky pilot projects.

Scialog, short for “science + dialog,” is a program created by RCSA in 2010 to bring together scientists from a variety of disciplines to focus their collective thinking on issues of global importance.

"Frontier approaches are needed to explore and reveal nervous system adaptation due to current changing environments—now more than ever,” said Kathy Richmond, Executive Vice President of the Office of Science and Innovation and Director of the Frontiers Group at the Allen Institute. “Through Scialog’s focus on early career researchers, we are excited to join with The Kavli Foundation and RSCA to unleash the power of creative ideas born of multidisciplinary collaboration.”

The series of meetings will complement The Kavli Foundation’s Neurobiology and Changing Ecosystems multi-year initiative launched in 2023, supporting research investigating how neural processes—including molecular, cellular, and circuit-level mechanisms—are impacted by or resilient to changing environments.

“Through this partnership, we are creating new opportunities for early career researchers to build awareness – and research programs – in this area,” said Amy Bernard, Director of Life Sciences at The Kavli Foundation.We are excited to support new interdisciplinary collaborations that will advance knowledge about how these changes may modify neuronal function, and may even shed light on novel pathways for resilience and adaptation.”

For full consideration as a Fellow for the first meeting of Scialog: Neurobiology and Changing Ecosystems, nominate yourself or an early career colleague by September 1, 2024.

RCSA’s other Scialog meetings include the first year of Automating Chemical Laboratories in April 2024, the first year of Sustainable Minerals, Metals, and Materials in September 2024, the third year of Molecular Basis of Cognition in October 2024, and the first year of Early Science with the LSST in November 2024.


About Research Corporation for Science Advancement
RCSA is a private foundation that funds basic research in the physical sciences (astronomy, chemistry, physics, and related fields) at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. It creates and supports inclusive communities of early career researchers through two core programs—the Cottrell Scholar Program and Scialog—as well as its newly launched RCSA Fellows initiative.

About The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group
The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, a division of the Allen Institute, is dedicated to exploring the landscape of bioscience to identify and foster ideas that will change the world. The Frontiers Group recommends funding to the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation which then invests through award mechanisms to accelerate our understanding of biology, including: Allen Discovery Centers at partner institutions for leadership-driven, compass-guided research; and Allen Distinguished Investigators for frontier explorations with exceptional creativity and potential impact. The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group was founded in 2016 by the late philanthropist and visionary Paul G. Allen.

About Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
Founded in 1988 by philanthropists Jody Allen and the late Paul G. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, the foundation invests in communities across the Pacific Northwest to enhance the human experience of arts & culture, center under-served populations, and mobilize young people to make impact. In addition, the foundation supports a global portfolio of nonprofit partners working across science and technology solutions to protect wildlife, preserve ocean health, and create lasting change. The foundation also funds the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, which works to advance cutting-edge research in all areas of bioscience.

About The Kavli Foundation
The Kavli Foundation is dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of humanity. The foundation’s mission is to stimulate basic research in astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience and theoretical physics; strengthen the relationship between science and society; and honor scientific discoveries with The Kavli Prize.


Media Contact
Angela Hagen
Communications Director
Research Corporation for Science Advancement

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