December, snow for some, sunshine for others, jingle bells for some, business as usual for others… but definitely for all of us: Time to look back over the past year!

Obviously, everyone has their own personal highlights. We think we don’t have to beat around the bush on what our highlight as members of the YSSC was, of course the meeting in Montreal! On the other hand, the highlight of one might be another one’s disappointment. Yes, this refers to those who for whatever reason could not join us in Montreal, even though they were planning to. Would have been great to have you around folks – we hope we can catch up in Kyoto.

End-of-the-year-reviews usually proceed chronologically. So predictable, boring! Let’s jump straight to August, as the months before can anyway be described as an ascending linear function of work.

Oh, hang on! There was actually one really important thing for us in March this year! The first release of our YSSC Local Ambassadors program! And, wow, what a feedback! Many applications, proposals, advert emails and presentations later, we have learned a lot and are still in the process of doing so. We are thrilled to have currently 20 ambassadors form 11 countries either already past or in their probation period. This has definitely been an amazing ride already and we are moving forward with it. Currently lots of work is being invested to update rules, guidelines and the proposal process. We want this program to race over a smooth high-speed-track driven by your enthusiasm, so we sit down and clear bumps in the road. We will keep you posted!

Right, Montreal meeting then? Well, that had its own “What’s on?” article already (September, surely you have all read it?). So keeping its stage time short: It was unbelievable! It reminded us that science is awesome, scientists are good fun, museums are not always quiet and hard work always pays off! You let your own mind wonder what that means for you personally.

August, there was more in August. The Advanced School at the beautiful Esterel Resort, of course. All faculty and participants were there for the science and the community. The brilliant hotel, food and a wonderful lake just happened to be there as well. Very handy! However, those things definitely contributed to an unforgettable experience that participants will always connect with ISN. Something they can mention at potential future award lectures to encourage the young scientists of their time.

A few weeks later, when everybody was back home surrounded by the daily madness in the lab that we all adore, the YSSC received confirmation for some long coming news. Since Haley and Yoshi had fulfilled their turns in the YSSC (thank you very much again for all your hard work, guys!), we had some new members join us. Rachel, our new ASN rep from the States, Cary as our new APSN-rep from Japan, and Philip representing the country where most of our ambassadors and proposals come from: Nigeria. Welcome folks! If you would like to get to know these guys a bit better, their profiles should be on the ISN website very soon.

What is at the end of a classical year review (or basically any review)? Future prospects! Sorry, we cannot predict the future. Just like you we are only neuroscientists, not clairvoyants. However, what we can tell you is that wherever you may live, work, move to, leave from in 2020 there will newsletters, social media posts, more personal letters, maybe some requests and certainly lots of planning for future events done by your YSSC! Also: There will be another fantastic ISN-JNC Flagship School in Alpbach in 2020, applications open in January, so go to our website and have a look!

Thank you very much to everyone who approached us, worked with us, showed interest in our work, read our letters or attended events organized by us or our ambassadors, it’s been a fantastic year with you, looking forward to more!

To those who celebrate it: Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noël, Feliz Natal!

To those who don`t: Have a great month and a joyful end of 2019!