March 2014

Message from the President - March 2014
ECNP e-news
Message from the President
Friday 21 March 2014

The ECNP Workshop for Junior Scientists in Nice occurs at a stage in the year when spring will often have sprung and everything starts to seem possible again. This year the weather was great, which was slightly bad luck for our participants from all over Europe (and our speakers). It was nevertheless as good an indoor event as ever. The format of outstanding guest speakers mixed in with presentations by the junior scientists themselves and interactive poster sessions simply works. The size is right and the atmosphere is infectiously positive. Many thanks are due to the many people who give their time so generously to serve on the organising committee and create the event.

In Nice, the Executive Committee confirmed a number of other important developments. First, our External Review Board, chaired by Uli Wittchen, convened to decide its approach to keeping track of our procedures and process over the next years. Good governance requires oversight from a group of eminent scientists and clinicians who have the freedom to question what we do and how we do it in the interests of the broader membership and indeed the public who are interested in us.

Second, Astrid Linthorst has agreed to become chairman of the Scientific Programme Committee after Wim van den Brink. This is a crucial role, which enjoys a certain independence from the Executive Committee, but by determining the structure and content of the annual congress helps define what we are.

Finally, the Brain Prize winners for 2014 were announced very recently. They are Stanislas Dehaene, Giacomo Rizzolatti and Trevor Robbins. The Brain Prize was first awarded by the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation in 2011 and its winners have been welcome plenary lecturers at the ECNP annual congress since 2012: Tamás Freund, Karen Steel and this year Karl Deisseroth. I hope Trevor will be able to join us as a natural choice to speak in 2015. It is a great personal pleasure to congratulate him on this latest achievement. His work embodies what ECNP wants to facilitate in the application of neuroscience to the most burdensome diseases of the brain. To be successful we need great basic scientists to take our clinical problems seriously, which is exactly what he has always done.

 

Best regards,

 

Guy Goodwin, ECNP President


PS: A number of deadlines are rapidly approaching for the 27th ECNP Congress (abstract submission, early registration) and 28th ECNP Congress (symposium proposal submission). See www.ecnp-congress.eu for details.

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