The Society for Neuroscience leadership has decided to remove New Orleans permanently from the rotation of cities where the annual meeting is held. Prior to 2012, New Orleans hosted SfN annual meetings five times with the last one in 2003. New Orleans had been scheduled to host the annual meeting in 2006 and 2009, but these plans were canceled after Katrina hit the city in August of 2005. As many may know, the meeting returned to New Orleans in 2012.
The SfN leadership provides an explanation for their action on the SfN website and cites uncertainty regarding severe weather in that region of the country as a main reason for their decision (http://www.sfn.org/News-and-Calendar/News-and-Calendar/News/Annual-Meeting-Spotlight/Future-Meetings-Schedule-Announced). For the next nine years, the SfN council voted to hold annual meetings only in Chicago, San Diego, or Washington, DC. However, the vote of the SfN Council on this issue was not unanimous.
Several SfN members have raised awareness of this change in meeting plans on NeuroOnLine interest groups. In addition, a position statement and petition to return New Orleans to the SfN annual meeting cycle has been started at Change.org (https://www.change.org/petitions/the-society-for-neuroscience-put-new-orleans-back-on-the-rotation-of-venues-for-your-annual-meeting). In their statement, the Change.org petitioners suggest that no city is free from the potential of severe weather by noting Hurricane Sandy caused significant disruptions in Washington, DC around the time the SfN meeting was being held in New Orleans. Several thousand petition signers are needed to make a significant impact on the SfN leadership.
Consider whether you want to sign the Change.org petition to voice your views on annual meeting locations. This is an issue which impacts every SfN member.