All credit to the small band of Europhile scientists behind the organization EuroScience. After a rush of blood to their heads, and with some skilled salesmanship, they overcame inertia, scepticism and indifference to launch in 2004 the first EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF).

The meeting attracted funding from foundations and the European Commission, and was supported by participants at the heart of European science, both individuals and institutions, including Nature. It attracted more than 1,800 participants from 67 countries, with 250 speakers, 50 sessions and 350 journalists. Feedback suggested that it achieved immediacy, relevance and comprehensibility, in topics ranging from neuroscience to cosmology, and from research policy to science in schools.

The next meeting will be held in Munich, Germany, in July next year. It deserves to thrive but can only do so if Europe's scientists and citizens submit proposals. These should bring unusual collections of panellists together to address hot topics — leading perhaps to scenes like those last year, when sessions overflowed with people wanting to hear debates on climate change.

Those who, like Nature, wish to propose sessions can find the themes of ESOF2006 and submission forms at The deadline for proposals is 15 June.