Do you know the feeling when you have been working for something for quite some time, prepared, maybe stressed about it, and then suddenly it’s all over? Be our guest, that’s a bit what we feel like right now looking back on the ISN-ASN meeting in the beautiful Montreal in August 2019. Luckily there is ISN-APSN 2021, so there is stuff to do and to prevent us from getting that post-meeting-blues. But one meeting at a time. We think this one deserves a “What`s on?” article that looks back on it, especially for a young scientist point of view.

This was our meeting and it felt great! Let’s start at the first day of the meeting when everyone is still a bit all-over-the-place from travel, jetlag and last minute planning (yes that happens…to everyone). The best way to start is to get full on into it, as the YSSC did by hosting the “My first conference”-meet up for the first (but not last) time. A number of conference newbies managed to join us as we gave a little tour and introduction despite the early time on Sunday afternoon. Thankfully the conference team had prepared everything, signs were up, rooms open and nobody got lost. Good start!

ISN and ASN officials’ emphasised on how important young scientists are by giving the chairs of YIAC and YSSC a slot to speak in the opening ceremony in front of the full crowd, really cool stuff! This is exactly what brought us (YSSC from ISN and YIAC from ASN) in the right mind set to get fully started. So what do we do? We party! We party in a museum, obviously. A 20 min walk away from the conference venue, giving all of us the time to digest the science from Monday and look forward to a charming environment to get to know each other in the McCord museum. 250 people from at least 30 different countries, food, drinks, music and the option to dive into modern art made this one a night to remember. We could not have hoped for a better atmosphere that night, so thanks again to everyone who came along! You guys made it so worth the efforts!

Tuesday morning, 9 am plenary lecture, back to business. A day of stunning science and the ISN business meeting. Did you attend it? If not, put it on your schedule for Kyoto! It’s important to be an active member and that starts with knowing what’s going on in the Society. Plus you get to actually contribute to decisions directly!

The next YSSC-organized event was our workshop “What’s Next? – Young Scientist Career Perspectives” on Wednesday afternoon. The YSSC gathered 6 very successful individuals from a science background now working in academia, publishing, a multinational business or their very own company. We asked them for something likely to be out of the comfort zone: sharing personal experiences. They all agreed, they all did it. The audience got some very personal, interesting, sometimes really funny, sometimes quite serious insights in the lives of those who have mastered the question “Whats next?” for themselves.  The aim of this workshop was to point out that there is more than the classical career path and that there is more than one way to find your own. Mission accomplished? We thought so.

Some of you also shared some personal insights with the crowd on our “What drives you to neurochemistry?” poster walls. Quite interesting, nobody seems to be doing it for the money, we wonder why. Last but not least: the YSSC lunch meeting on Thursday in our very own YSSC lounge, our quite spot to escape the meeting hassle for a bit and have a chat. Not too much Wifi going on there, but hey, that only helps the conversation. There we finally had a chance to announce our local ambassadors officially. Local ambassadors? Remember? Oh yes, there was a letter sent out earlier this year seeking for applications (and there will be another one coming out soon). For now we had the honour to hand out certificates to 10 ambassadors from 6 different countries and make them our ambassadors for the next 2 years and have them spread the word about ISN in their communities. Interested? Want more info? Email us at yssc@neurochemistry.org.

The only thing left was an absolutely fantastic farewell party down by the river overlooking the skyline of our host city. What a way to end this meeting! We felt like something got moving, something like a community feel, and something that’s worth to continue working on it.

Thank you Montreal and thank all of you for coming! See you in 2 years, a number of emails, posts and what else we can think of top keep you busy! J

Your YSSC

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