I vividly remember upsetting quite a few people a few years back at a VIB group leader retreat. Along with several other group leaders, I was asked to give a presentation in a session on future trends in science. As expected, the session turned out to be a recital of the obvious, with people predicting more genome sequencing, more big data, more CRISPR/Cas, more single-cell research. The audience was slipping into a deep, possibly irreversible, coma. That was, until I half-jokingly stated that there’s an easy answer for anyone not working in the field of microbiology: simply look at what microbiologists are doing right now to know where other fields will be headed in the coming five years. Coma transformed into fury. Someone stood up and shouted that microbes don’t even have neurons and that it is therefore rather unlikely that they would be good predictors of where the field of neurobiology would head to. Plant scientists, cancer specialists and immunologists nodded enthusiastically.