As we move past the holidays, the Super Bowl and Presidents Day, I think a few reflections on the 37th annual CNS meeting in Santa Clara are in order. First of all, it was the largest meeting the CNS has ever had. We had over 950 registrants this year (the previous record was 875 at the 2006 meeting in Pittsburgh). Secondly, I think it is appropriate to thank Dr. Narayanan and his committee for the design and content of the program. I thought it was very informative, interesting and entertaining. The symposia were cogent and coherent as well. That certainly took a lot of work and time on the part of the committee and particularly the chairman. Third, I thought the venue was good. There was room enough for the posters and displays and they were close enough to the meeting rooms to be attended by everybody. I hope the increased emphasis on the posters was appreciated but we are always interested in constructive suggestions on how to do it better. I think it was considerate of the Santa Clara folks to avoid too many distractions in the immediate area so as to allow the attendees to focus on the meeting.
One of the issues that became apparent is that only about one half of the child neurologists passing Part II of the ABPN Examination have joined the CNS. This is a particularly distressing fact since with the implementation of the “Match” the number of child neurologists in training has almost tripled. If you know of junior child neurologists, in training or just finished training, please encourage them to join the CNS as the greater percentage of child neurologists represented, the stronger the voice of the organization. Thanks to a $25,000 unrestricted educational grant from Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the 2009 meeting in Louisville will feature discounted registration fees for all Junior Members of the CNS ($50 discounts) and free registration for all Junior Members presenting papers or posters as the first author. I think perhaps increasing the numbers of young members will also insure that the issues addressed by the CNS leadership and Committees reflect the concerns
of the membership. In this vein, I would suggest that any members who wish to participate on committees of the organization send your name to the national office. As each of the committees begins to define the terms of the members and develop mechanisms for regular and orderly turnover among the committee members, new members will be chosen largely from the list of those who have expressed a willingness to participate.
As you may remember, we had two eulogies at the Santa Clara meeting, for Krystyna Wisniewski and Bill DeMyer, and one of the lifetime achievement awardees, Niels Low, was also a posthumous award. Most of you know by now also that Dr. John Menkes has recently died. We are fortunate to have reflections written by long-time friends of all three of our colleagues appear in this issue. It may be instructive to remember those who have made many important contributions to our specialty in this small way. The fact that many of the many of the “old guard” are retiring makes the influx of the new trainees even more important if our subspecialty is to survive and prosper in the future.
Finally, a word of thanks to the many members submitting an impressive 41 symposia proposals for the 2009 Annual Meeting in Louisville. The quantity, quality and variety of submissions was truly remarkable and bodes very well for a scientific program in October that, against all odds, may surpass the excellence of last year’s program in Santa Clara.