A concentrated hub of scientific activity rich with intimate interactions (from dinners at our on-campus pub to impromptu chats on a walk around the lake), Janelia offers the intellectual opportunities of a large academic institution, but with all the unique benefits of a small research community.
Research talks, robust discussions, and ongoing dialogue are the backbone of intellectual life on campus. Every year, Janelians have the opportunity to attend hundreds of scientific presentations in a variety of formats without ever leaving the campus. With 20 or so carefully choreographed conferences and workshops and 5-6 HHMI Science Meetings, Janelia hosts talks by over 600 investigators each year. Our Director's Seminar Series brings another handful of prominent researchers, often with the opportunity for our researchers to meet with them personally.
Less formally, we offer a full calendar of internal seminars, journal clubs, interest groups, book talks, training sessions, and a variety of tutorials and courses, including the Women's Coding Circle, Drosophila Interest Group, Systems Neuroscience Forum, Fundamentals of Light Microscopy Course, Neurotheory and Engineering Journal Club, the Junior Scientist Seminar Series, and many others. And, of course, Bob’s Pub is a hotbed for animated discussions, often over a morning cup of coffee or an evening glass of wine.
In recent years, Janelia has hosted talks by more than 20 Nobel laureates, including Richard Axel, Linda B. Buck, Roger Y. Tsien, Eric R. Kandel, Paul Nurse, and many others, as well as former U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu. Both highly selective and narrowly focused, our conferences attract nearly a thousand top researchers from around the world each year. Certain meetings are so popular that we regularly repeat them every few years (see Fluorescent Probes and Biological Sensors and "Genetic Manipulation of Neuronal Activity).
Intellectual life at Janelia is purposefully inclusive, with graduate students, postdocs, technical staff, project scientists, lab heads, and visiting scientists all encouraged to participate. We're able to connect scientists at all levels and across all disciplines in an ideal setting for thoughtful, bracing conversations between emerging and veteran researchers. We value and encourage vigorous debate and bold thinking - and actively seek others who feel the same.