In honour of International Women`s Day, we talked with Prof. Dr. Eva Bartels, one of ESNCH`s founding members and currently serving as the Educational Coordinator on the Executive Committee, about her experience with ESNCH over the years. Throughout the history of the ESNCH, women have been under represented and we asked Eva about her experience as one of the few active women.
Eva: I have been involved in neurosonology since the late 1980s. This method has become my passion and my hobby. So I was very happy that an official platform – ESNCH – was founded in 1994 and that I am also one of the founding members.
Above all, I was pleased to be able to organize the first ever ESNCH congress in Munich with Prof. Klingelhöfer from August 29th to September 1st, 1996 as Congress secretary. At that time we were already thinking about female congress participants and organized a possibility for childcare (see attachment). However, this was never used, no participants with children came to our congresses (not even later). (Times were different back then.)
A second important event was the 16th ESNCH Meeting, which I hosted from May 20th to 23rd, 2011 in Munich – this time as Congress President.
Receiving feedback after the congress and the feedback from the participants – even now years later… The book from the congress (New Trends in Neurosonology – an Update, Elsevier, 500 pages) – with 100 contributions, provided by colleagues from all over the sonographic world, which are still up-to-date, even 12 years later (over 100,000 downloads have already been made – with open access).
What has been your best ESNCH memory?
Eva: For me a highlight of being part of this society has always been the annual meeting with colleagues, the scientific discussions, the exchange of experiences that inspire me.
I like to think back to our Welcome Parties – 1997 with a guided tour through the Lenbachhaus Museum, or the sunset that we watched over the roofs of Munich from the gallery of the Parliament building at the 2011 conference.
I am actually planning to write memoirs for the society. I have been collecting photos from my 30 plus years and just need to find the time to organise the history…I guess I may have time when I have nothing more to do scientifically.
What are you working on scientifically?
Eva: I have currently set up a special research group that deals with the clarification of dizziness in anatomical variants of the vertebral arteries and their sonographic diagnostics.
In addition, I am also interested in optimizing our certification in the International Certification Commission as much as possible. And of course, I would like to contribute to making our society more visible at other international ultrasound congresses such as EFSUMB or WFUMB.
Has gender equality been an issue for you in ESNCH?
Eva: It didn’t bother me that for decades I was the only woman in our committees. Gender has never been a problem for me. It’s always about the issue and about the common interest that connects us all.
We want to thank Eva for sharing her experiences and for her dedication to neurosonology and ESNCH over the years. Hopefully her experiences will encourage more women to get involved in committees and run for Executive Committee in the future.