The SPARED Conte Center is actively engaged in sharing our enthusiasm for neuroscience and our commitment for brain and behavior-based mental health research with the members of our community and general public. Not only do we endeavor to inspire future generations of neuroscientists, but also to foster candid communication about the science of mental health with the public to increase support for research. Given our shared interest in uncovering the consequences of stress on brain and behavior, and appreciation that stress is commonplace in our everyday lives, many of our events also include discussion regarding our current understanding of the consequences of stress on the brain and relationship to mental illness. We meet these goals we conduct a series of events and activities appropriate for diverse non-expert audiences about the brain and its role in behavior.

Through collaborations with McLean’s Brains Matter! Neuroscience Education & Outreach Program, we engage in large public science outreach activities including participation in the Cambridge Science Festival and the Museum of Science’s Annual Health Fair. We also welcome the opportunity to enter local schools to conduct fun, engaging and interactive events focusing on the basic principles of brain function and health, discuss recent neuroscience discoveries that have changed the way we understand brain function, and share the experiences that inspired our entry into the realm of neuroscience. Our presentations are often supported by postmortem human brain specimens provided by the Harvard Brain Tissue Research Center (https://hbtrc.mclean.harvard.edu/) as well as a variety of animal brain specimens to discuss the importance of access to brain tissue in neuroscience and also how brains differ among species.

Our presentations are led by members of the SPARED Center including researchers, staff and undergraduate students from local universities engaged in research in the SPARED Center. Collectively we hope to share our knowledge concerning the central role that the neuroscience has in uncovering the innerworkings of our brains and behavior with the public.