I became involved in EFNS in the summer of the 1991 (if I remember correctly) when Cesare Fieschi, Head of my Departement at the University Hospital in Rome, asked me to join him for a lunch with Franz Gestenbrand and Uschi Tschabitscher at an autogrill on the highway from Naples to Rome, since they were returning from Capri. Franz, with his usual vigorous attitude, proposed to Cesare to organize the Congress for the new born Federation in Rome. And we did it with Jes Olesen as President, since Franz had just stepped down in 1995.
In the following years I also acted as the Chair of the Neuroimaging Scientific Panel, enjoying the collaboration of important scientists such as Pavel Kalvach, Jean Claude Baron, Daniela Perani, Patrizia Pantano, and José Masdeu, among others. When I left the Chair to JC Baron, I was elected to the Teaching Course Committee, happily working with the Chairman Professor Aarli.
When Cesare Fieschi had to leave the Management Committee, I was called into the Committee as a “member-at-large”, possibly because the members of the EFNC MC wanted to maintain an “Italian” representative on the board, and possibly because they knew that I was familiar with the mechanisms of the EFNS rules and attitudes and most likely, some of them had known me for many years and knew my main rule in life: “why suffer”.
I stayed in the MC and actually partecipated in two of the major achievements/changes that EFNS activated in the late nineties and during the first years of the new millennium. Those changes, the definite neuro-political initiative in Bruxelles that Jes Olesen decided to begin, and the even more important acquisition of the beautiful loft at BreiteGasse in Wien to be used as our main headquarters. I remember, but will not reveal to EFNS posterity, those trembling voices that attempted to block EFNS involvment in such an uncertain financial investment. The happy spenders won and our Archivist, then the EFNS Treasurer was later quite happily involved with Architects, designs, and plans. I also remember very well that a few months later, EFNS was offered a price of double the investment to purchase our new office space.
However, as far as my involvement with EFNS is concerned, the turning point was definitely the EFNS Paris 2004 Congress. My term within the MC expired after four interesting years, and the entrance of Giorgio Cruccu in the MC as Secretary practically blocked the presence of a second italian. Thus I went to Paris taking three of my daughters and my wife and together we definitely attended more museums and shows than I attended scientific sessions. Therefore, on the evening when we were preparing for a nice dinner at Place Pigalle, lobster and fruits-de-mer, and I received a call from the President, Dieter Heiss, asking to see me for a brief private talk, I quickly tied my tie, and hurried downstairs, totally uncertain about the theme of Dieter’s request, let me say slightly worried, because of his serious voice when he called.
My family dinner was a very happy and expensive one as we celebrated the President’s offer of the position as Chairman of the CPC for the years 2006-07 with one of the best french champagnes! And, since I readily accepted, here I am.
|Gian Luigi Lenzi, Italy|
|Member at large:
Management Committee: 2001-2003