On the Shoulders of Giants Scientific Symposium

An annual celebration of scientific achievement highlighting the researchers and discoveries that form the groundwork for future discovery.

On the Shoulders of Giants is the Child Mind Institute’s annual celebration of scientific achievement in child and adolescent psychiatry, psychology and developmental neuroscience. In October of each year, we invite our Distinguished Scientist to present at a symposium and select two other scientists to present. This symposium celebrates the spirit of scientific collaboration and stewardship, and highlights seminal contributions to our understanding of the brain and behavior that have laid the groundwork for future discovery.

On the Shoulders of Giants brings together world-class researchers with children’s mental health care experts, educators, parents and young people interested in the advances that are revolutionizing our understanding of brain science and mental health and learning disorders.

Each year the symposium also honors our Rising Scientists — outstanding students from New York metro-area high schools who have demonstrated exceptional promise in science. Each Rising Scientist is awarded a $2,000 college scholarship.

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Past Programs

  • In 2016 the On the Shoulders of Giants Scientific Symposium celebrated the work of John L. R. Rubenstein, MD, PhD, Nina Ireland Distinguished Professor in Child Psychiatry and 2016 Child Mind Institute Distinguished Scientist Award Recipient. More
  • In 2015 the On the Shoulders of Giants Scientific Symposium celebrated the work of Thomas Insel, MD, former director of the National Institute of Mental Health and 2015 Child Mind Institute Distinguished Scientist Award Recipient. More
  • In 2014 the On the Shoulders of Giants Scientific Symposium celebrated the work of Pasko Rakic, MD PhD, director of the Yale Kavli Institute for Neuroscience and 2014 Child Mind Institute Distinguished Scientist Award Recipient. More
  • In 2013 the On the Shoulders of Giants scientific symposium celebrated the work of Nora Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and 2013 Child Mind Institute Distinguished Scientist Award Recipient. More
  • In 2012 the On the Shoulders of Giants scientific symposium celebrated the work of Eric R. Kandel, MD, Nobel Prize laureate and 2012 Child Mind Institute Distinguished Scientist Award Recipient. More
  • In 2011 the first annual On the Shoulders of Giants Symposium celebrated Jerome Kagan, PhD, and Judith L. Rapoport, MD, recipients of the Child Mind Institute’s Distinguished Scientist Awards for their extraordinary contributions to child mental health. More