We’re coming towards the end of the fifth FENS meeting inVienna. I remember the birth pains of this conference, which had the first of its now biennial meetings in Berlin in 1998. It’s nice to see that Europe can do big meetings efficiently. (It’s also rather rare.) Over 5200 scientists from 75 countries have shown up. The programme is good, of consistent high quality. And the whole thing is well-organised. The press facilities, normally a complete disaster in any European meeting, couldn’t be better. The general mood is upbeat.