The close of 2018 prompts a Janus moment. Looking back, we see another fantastic year for Oxford Neuroscience; ahead, so much more to come.
We’ve continued to build and develop novel and cutting-edge research facilities. The year saw the launch of the Oxford Centre for Neuroinflammation in NDCN and the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience in DPAG. The Anna Watts Building opened, providing improved research labs to members of EP, and work is apace at the JR site constructing the new Wolfson Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia and making way for expansion of the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN).
Our community received prestigious honours and swept those coveted awards. There are too many to mention exhaustively, but some nice examples include: Chas Bountra’s OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list, Andy King’s election as a Fellow of the Royal Society, Kay Davies’ Croonian Medal, Robert Maclaren’s and David Beeson’s election to the Academy of Medical Sciences, and – just this week – Irene Tracy’s award for her Outstanding Contribution to Neuroscience from the BNA. Congratulations to all!
As always, we shared the wonder and impact of our science beyond lab walls. A great many of you contributed to our highly successful public engagement programme. We were a strong presence in Brain Awareness Week and the Oxford Science and Ideas Festival. Events included WIN’s excellent Digital Festival and a wonderful immersive holographic art installation at St John’s. Thanks to all who took part. We also continued to reaffirm our commitment to enhancing equality and diversity by expanding our participation in meaningful and rewarding outreach programmes such as in2ScienceUK and UNIQ. Our success depends on so many of you giving your time and energy to provide these young people with a major formative experience in their lives.
Years also bring sadness. This year we said goodbye to some longstanding friends, such as Larry Weiskrantz, Roger Bannister, and Michael Gelder. They leave us broad shoulders and we shall build on their legacy.
Next year will certainly bring us many new opportunities and projects, as well as throw us some inevitable challenges. Work will intensity on REF2021 (so remember to ‘Act on Acceptance’), focus will go into designing and refining our undergraduate and graduate courses, and planning and building works will mould new spaces in which to educate, research, and translate.
So, at this annual transition point, I would like to thank each of you for your efforts and contributions. I hope you enjoy a lovely festive break and that you step into a very Happy and Rewarding New Year.