It’s been a long hot summer in Phoenix. In part because of the “rough patch” we are experiencing in the economy. As a result of the economy and changing governmental regulation concerning corporate support of educational events, it has been more difficult than usual to raise the support necessary for the function of the Society. The major priority being the annual meeting, of course, but there are many other commitments the CNS has undertaken which also require attention. Since I have what can only be described as a fundamentally optimistic outlook on life, I cannot help but think that things will turn around with the economy and perhaps the energy “scare” will have a silver lining if it leads to a cogent and comprehensive national energy policy. Some would say that is not optimistic but more Pollyanna like. We will have to wait to see which. In the meantime, we will tighten our belts. I, for one, have plenty of extra belt to tighten.
There may be some changes in the meeting as a result of the tough economic times but I believe the content is just as good as ever and we can do without many of the extras without substantively changing the quality of the experience for most of us. Dr. Vinodh Narayanan, as chair of the scientific selection committee has constructed a great program for this fall. We have tried to provide somewhat more emphasis on the posters to be presented. The structure of the meeting allows only a few of the abstracts to be presented orally and the bulk of the science is therefore presented as posters. Because of this, and perhaps because I have been a frequent poster presenter and rarely a platform presenter, we have tried to provide more time and space for the attendees to peruse the posters in the hope of stimulating discussion with the authors and becoming more familiar with the body of work our members are engaged in.
It stands to reason that an organization like the CNS is stronger and more effective as a representative of the specialty of Child Neurology if it represents the entire group. In order to do this, it is necessary that the child neurologists around belong to the organization and participate in the activities of the society. Along these lines, I would ask the training programs to encourage their residents to become junior members of the CNS as well as participate in the meetings. I hope to encourage “active” members to actually participate in the work of the society by defining mechanisms to ensure that there is ongoing opportunity for membership on committees of the Society and making these mechanisms known to all. It seems that the website would be the appropriate place to list the committees, the terms of each of the members and the appropriate contact information for those wishing to participate in the work of that committee. Only a small proportion of the committee members will turn over any given year but over time, this should increase the opportunities for all members to participate in the Society.
Finally, the nominating committee has come up with an excellent slate of candidates for the upcoming election (CNS election, in contradistinction to the federal election). It is comforting to know that whichever candidate is elected, that person will be a solid addition to the executive committee of the society (also in contradistinction to the federal election).
I hope to have a chance to greet you in Santa Clara this November.