A very thoughtful and constructive piece from a neuroscientist.
I’ve blogged before on the need for discernment when it comes to business trying to use neuroscience. It seems there is still a long way to go…
Last week there was a conference in Manchester titled NeuroBusiness 2015, billed as the ‘first of its kind in the UK’. Actually the ‘neuroleadership‘ guys have been doing similar stuff for ages. They have some serious conceptual issues, and there’s also an excellent piece on TheConversation.com about neuro-quackery in business and education. NeuroBusiness 2015 took it to a whole new level though. On the front page of their website there’s a quote from Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Manchester, which reads:
“I very much welcome the opportunity to bring neuroscientists together with business.”
This is a noble aim, but apparently no-one let the conference organisers know about it, as browsing the list of speakers quickly reveals that there were no neuroscientists invited. None. The closest we have is Dr Jenny Brockis who appears to be a medic who found a more lucrative calling…
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Ei4Change was one of the organisers of NeuroBusiness2015 and I am happy to reply to some of the very valid concerns and criticisms. I, too, share your concerns about the prefix neuro- to a load of old bollocks. My concern is also that the bandwagon considers the brain in isolation and completely overlooks the neurophysiology of the the rest of the person.
The conference was extremely successful for a completely new venture. The main focus was on the application of neuroscience in business. There were many presenters and speakers who had experience of working to bridge the gap between the two disciplines.
The most rewarding sessions were from business leaders and consultants who delivered relevant case studies on Day 2.
We approached a number of neuroscientists from leading universities and business schools but none showed any interest in getting involved. There were plenty of excuses or no response whatsoever.
We were pleased to have some lecturers from the Occupational Psychology department of Manchester Metropolitian University who attended as they were keen to interact with local businesses and learn more.
There were also people speaking and presenting from the Association for Business Psychology. We have good links with both the organisations and they have been very supportive.
Lets have further conversations and work towards collaborating as we plan further NeuroBusiness activities in the future. Your support and input will be greatly valued.