Life and Neuroscience

Incorporating conversations about Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the CAN meeting program.


  • Olivia Ghosh-Swaby, PhD Candidate Western University
  • Milan Valyear, Post-doctoral Fellow, McGill University

The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience has a mandate to increase awareness of these issues among CAN membership, as well as proposing policy and practice recommendations to the CAN leadership on producing an equitable association, that emphasizes diversity, inclusion and quality of life in event planning and dissemination of activities. This year, CAN wants to provide opportunities to highlight issues related to EDI to all participants, to emphasize the importance of this topic for all scientists.

First, to show the diversity of paths that lead to a successful scientific career, we have invited keynote speakers to share in a few minutes of their personal journey to research at the beginning of their talk. We are hopeful that hearing these from highly successful researchers will help trainees understand that there are many paths to becoming a scientist. Presenting the sometimes-non-linear ways that scientists achieve success will help put science in perspective.

Second, we are also organizing a panel discussion on Life and Neuroscience with invited speakers at CAN 2023, planned for Tuesday, May 30 at 6:30PM, right after the Keynote lecture. This will be an informal 45 minute panel discussion, hosted by trainee members of the EDI Committee, in which plenary speakers will discuss their experiences, including barriers they may have faced during their careers, and share their insight and advice for the audience.

Confirmed participants in this panel discussion include:

  • Sheena Josselyn
  • Ole Kiehn
  • Flora Vaccarino
  • Maja Jagodic
  • Hugo Bellen
  • Dana Small

Hearing this group of highly successful researchers discuss their paths in life and science aims to bring EDI-related topics to the main stage with the goal of highlighting the importance of these issues for everyone.

We look forward to welcoming all to the CAN meeting, and in your participation in these events.

Jibran Khokhar

Chair of the CAN Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee