It is the most complex, most mysterious device on the planet. And it weighs about 3 pounds.
From March 10-14, UT's Neuroscience Club will host its second annual Brain Awareness Week, a week of events intended to spread information regarding the brain and UT's new neuroscience major.
Melissa Lee, a senior in the college scholars program and vice president of the UT Neuroscience Club, explained Brain Awareness Week is an international campaign created by the Dana Foundation to demonstrate the importance of the brain and related research.
"Society is figuring out more and more how important it is to learn about this organ," Lee said, "and as students figuring out what we want to do for the rest of our lives, it's important to be exposed to that."
Brain Awareness Week is funded with the help of the Haines-Morris Grant from the College of Arts and Sciences.
"It's a celebration of the brain for people of all ages," said Alex Houck, senior in College Scholars and co-founder of the Neuroscience Club. "This year, our general theme is ethics of cognitive enhancers, such as Adderall."
The week-long series includes a panel discussion, "Neuroscience and Society," hosted in partnership with the Philosophy Club, to take place Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the Min Kao building.
The panelists — Matthew Cooper from psychology and neuroscience, David Palmer from philosophy, Ed Smith, Ph.D., from psychiatry and Bruce MacLennan from computer science — will discuss how neuroscience can inform understandings of the law, cognitive enhancers and notions of free will and consciousness.
The week will also include a free screening of the film, "Fight Club," with free pizza in Hodges Library on Thursday night.
A growing disconnect between scientists and society, Lee believes, makes events for the public even more crucial.
"We're finally at the point in human history where we get to try to answer through science by looking directly at the brain," Lee said. "And we're doing it through a new, interdisciplinary, questions-based way of doing science."
More information about Brain Awareness Week, and the upcoming events, can be found on the neuroscience club's Facebook page here.