Scientist Panels    
All Panels
In the early days of the EFNS we were fighting for the survival of the organization. The ENS hosted large and successful congresses and we were forced to have the same as described above. One way of generating activity in-between meetings and at the same time ascertain wide support was by creating the scientific committee. For each of the major subfields of neurology a scientist panel was created consisting of an expert from each of the member countries. The chairs of the scientist panels then formed a scientific committee which I had the privilege to create and chair during my time as vice-president 1991 – 1995. With approximately thirty-five different subfields and an equal number of countries, almost one thousand people would be enrolled in the scientist panels under the scientific committee. This was obviously a major organizational task. We asked all national neurological societies to appoint members to the thirty-five different panels and, as usual in voluntary work, some did and some did not. Those who did sometimes misunderstood and appointed people who were not at all experts and others suggested people only for some of the panels. Difficult as it was, we got enough response to start the work in the scientific committee but what should these scientist panels do in addition to just supporting the EFNS? The panels were and continue to be an invaluable resource of people with expertise. Whenever the EFNS needs experts for something, they can be drawn from the membership of the scientist panels. The panels were also asked to form task forces. A task force analyzes a particular problem and produces a report to be published in the European Journal of Neurology. Furthermore, scientist panels give input to the programs of EFNS congresses. The EFNS did not have much administrative support in those days. My administrative support was provided by my own secretary until Lisa Müller joined the EFNS and took responsibility for the administration of the scientist panels. We had planned that membership should be appointed by the national neurological societies but because many people did not response to emails and others appointed were not at all experts, it became clear that we had to change from national appointment to national nomination. The chairperson of the scientific committee then appointed and could dismiss inactive members and appoint others. My period as chairperson of the scientific committee was very much a period of development, experimentation and streamlining of this monster committee. However, the committee was by and large functioning and was a valuable asset for the EFNS when professor Dieter Heiss took over after me and very ably continued the work.

By Jes Olesen