Bass Connections links the classroom and the real world through interdisciplinary teams that tackle complex societal problems. DIBS administers its Brain & Society theme, which engages undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty from many programs and majors in an immersive curriculum that combines research and coursework into a common program of scholarship in multidisciplinary project teams. 

Curricular and project elements build connections between basic research in neuroscience (and related biological sciences) and socially challenging questions in medicine, the humanities, public policy, economics, ethics and law, to understand issues such as physical and social responses to transformative events; the workings of the brain in rhetoric and the arts; memory in legal testimony; and the role of decision processes in shaping our institutions and public policies. Each Brain & Society team tackles a current issue relating to the brain and its link to society as a whole.

Brain & Society Project Teams

Bass Connections teams generally work together over nine to 12 months. Students receive academic credit for participating. A full list of current Brain & Society project teams is available on the Bass Connections theme page.

DIBS Associate Director Nicole Schramm-Sapyta, PhD has been involved in the Bass Connections program since its inception, both as a Brain and Society theme leader and team leader. She shares her reflections on 10 years of the program in this article.

I’ve always been interested in mental health, and through this project I was able to learn a lot about substance use, addiction, and how policy affects treatment options. This project for me is also a lot to do with social justice. Addiction is a disease and we have the resources to do something about it.

Erica Onuoha, T '18, Biology, radio interview with WNCU