[For Members] News from JNS

FY2020 Report on the JNS General Assembly

Completion of the first online General Assembly
of the Japan Neuroscience Society

Japan Neuroscience Society
President: Michisuke Yuzaki
Director of General Affairs: Yoshikazu Isomura

 The General Assembly is a major opportunity for us to report and discuss important agendas, such as projects and accounting of the Japan Neuroscience Society (JNS), with our members. It is usually held annually during the society’s Annual Meeting. Since the 43rd Annual Meeting was moved online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the General Assembly was also held online this year from July 20th to 31st. Please refer to the details of the reports of the General Assembly in the following sections. Thanks to all members’ cooperation and understanding, the General Assembly, as well as the Annual Meeting, was successfully completed.
 Both meetings are best experienced when held in person, but we did discover that online meetings have certain benefits. As for the General Assembly, fewer than 100 members usually attended because it took place right before the social gathering of the Annual Meeting. However, 903 members attended this year’s online General Assembly. Compared with the total number of JNS members (approximately 6,000), this number is still small, but enabling members attend during their free time was a considerable benefit of the online General Assembly. We have also received many opinions in the free-format response section, which is also a great benefit of hosting the Assembly online. The opinions collected this year can be used to further develop JNS, and I hope to bring more value to our members.
 Due to COVID-19, society has been required to make major changes. At the same time, positive aspects of this can also be further utilized. From now on, I hope to run JNS as a more open academic society by taking advantage of various online technologies for bidirectional communication and social networking of members.

FY2020 Report on the JNS General Assembly

Date and Time: July 20th to 31st, 2020
Location: Online
Participants: 903 (*The number of people who viewed the agenda materials.)
Agenda materials
Approved minor changes to agenda materials: 901 Did not approve: 2
While the majority approved, no changes were made to the agenda materials.
Agenda item 1: Reports on accounting
Approved this agenda: 902
Did not approve this agenda: 1
Since the majority of participants approved, this agenda item was approved.
(The article XXI Bylaws of JNS).
[Opinions from members]
  • Is it necessary to print and mail newsletters? By not doing so, several million yen of budget can be cut. With this saving, the annual membership fees for JNS and participation fees for the Annual Meeting can be reduced, or the amount awarded for the JNS Young Investigator Award and Travel Awards can be increased.
  • I don’t see any difference in services, but why is there a difference between Regular and Overseas Regular membership fees?
  • I thought the reports on accounting were very transparent and detailed.
  • The carryover budget for a large-scale project is too high. I wish JNS would consider a concrete method to give this back to its members.
  • Every year, the carryover budget is over ninety million yen, and it is excessive. The budget should be just enough to support activities of current members and it is meaningless to accumulate money. The JNS should think of a strategy to give this back such as reducing the annual membership fees to increase the number of members.
  • As the world moves towards paperless, the JNS newsletter in booklet format should be stopped. We can access the content online, so no need for the booklet. Printing and mailing costs can be saved, and the membership fees should be reduced.
Report item 1: Reports from General Affairs
[Opinions from members]
  • Distributions of research fields and ages of JNS members were clearly presented.
  • It was good to see the number of members in each specialized field. However, fields related to molecular and cellular accounted for half the members, and this gave me an impression that the distribution was imbalanced. For meaningful information exchange, it is desirable to include different fields.
Report item 2: Reports on the 43rd Annual meeting (2020)
[Opinions from members]
  • This time, the Annual Meeting went online, so it would be desirable to reduce participation fees or accept participation cancellation.
  • I appreciate the efforts you made to switch to online to successfully hold the event in this difficult time with COVID-19.
  • I thought it was nice to be able to see the number of total presentations.
  • I can imagine your hard work on preparing for and holding the event during the turmoil caused by a novel coronavirus. I appreciate your efforts. Since you have learned to run the Annual Meeting using the Internet for stream broadcasting, perhaps you can use this experience to host smaller meetings online for each field starting next year.
  • It would be fair enough and generous from the organizing committee if the international travel grant award winners for attending the 43rd Annual Meeting would move on to 44 Annual Meeting. Is a privilege and an honor to attend such reputable gathering.
  • I thought it was a great attempt to broadcast videos online.
  • I think highly of your decision to go online due to COVID-19, and I appreciate it. However, I question the logic of the same participation fees for online and in-person events. Since it was the first attempt, I suspect that there were both cost-wise and work-wise challenges to materialize the event; nonetheless, I thought it would be nice to hear some explanation about it.
  • Please report the situation of the JNS Travel Award. Did the recipients travel to Japan? * Secretariat's note: As stated in Agenda Materials, the recipients did not enter the country due to the web-based event. We gave certificates only.
Report item 3: Reports on the 44th Annual Meeting (2021)
[Opinions from members]
  • Next year’s Annual Meeting should be planned online in principle, and instead of only showing the pre-recorded videos like this year, I would like to have the opportunities for real-time presentations and discussions during the specific time period after considering participants from different time zones. Don’t spend a large amount of money on overly excessive security strategies, but it is possible to hold an event using a reasonable security method such as through Zoom. By not spending money on a venue, the participation fee should be reduced. If the event becomes a repeat of this year, it will reduce the reputation of JNS.
  • During and after COVID-19, it might be necessary to bring in new ways of hosting an event. By considering such situations, I would appreciate if you could review the appropriate way of hosting JNS events for the future.
  • I didn’t understand what CJK was at first.
  • Next year, I hope the event will be held in person to meet all the members. The poster is nice in pretty rainbow colors.
  • What CJK stands for in “the First CJK International Conference” is not explained in this report nor on the homepage; therefore, it was unclear what kind of meeting we were trying to have a joint meeting with. Please clearly state somewhere.
    * Secretariat's note: China-Japan-Korea Neuroscience Meeting
  • I look forward to it.
Report item 4: Reports from the Annual Meeting Committee
[Opinions from members]
  • It was explained succinctly.
  • I look forward to the Annual Meeting in Okinawa and Sendai.
Report item 5: Reports from Neuroscience Research
[Opinions from members]
  • Since the Annual Meeting of JNS is inviting prestigious overseas researchers, why don’t we ask them to write a short summary of the presentation content as a mini article? This would increase the journal’s impact factor.
  • I clearly understood the impact factor changes over the years.
  • How about making more efforts to advertise outside the members about the existence of the JSN journal? While we don’t want to be misunderstood as a predatory journal, recent online journals are actively sending e-mails to researchers to encourage manuscript submissions. How about we follow suit?