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I came back from the 5th FENS meeting in Vienna on Thursday. I had arrived there with the most negative expectations of boring neuromedicine: posters and presentations full of Parkinson's Alzheimer's and other diseases. Which is exactly what happened! Brain diseases have, compared to experiments on healthy brains, relatively little to offer in terms of how brains work. Therefore, I'm always utterly bored and now, after so many years, seriously annoyed by large masses of narcissistic neuromedical researchers who think they are doing science.
Nevertheless, what little real science was offered at FENS (which also was comparatively poorly organized, BTW, but not all too bad) actually was very exciting. The number of scientists also was surprisingly high, making the overwhelming mass of clinical research less of a nuissance. In particular, I got the idea for some very interesting, possibly groundbreaking experiments during one of the sessions, so maybe the conference paved the way for a major breakthrough... we will see
I had to present my poster on the final day and again expected the worst: nobody will be there, hours alone in front of the poster. However, it started out very nicely with Matthijs Feenstra (Netherlands Institute for Brain Research) asking me to let him photograph my poster. That was just before 9am, I think, and from then on it was a crowded morning session. I had plenty of people coming to my poster, some of them asking very clever questions and making very interesting comments. I spent the next 5 hours trying to present over an incredible background noise in the poster hall, making my voice very sore at the end of the session.
So, in conclusion, the conference was a success and fun - maybe because I expected the worst.
Posted on Friday 14 July 2006 - 11:41:56 comment: 0

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