Message from the Chair

The 50th anniversary year of VMSG got off to an excellent start with the 3-day annual meeting in Edinburgh, in January. Set in the John McIntyre Conference Centre that sits cheek-by-jowl with Arthur's Seat, the meeting was an impressive showcase for national and international research. Attracting 225 delegates, of whom about half were students, they came from Great Britain, Sweden, Ireland, Switzerland, Iceland , Chile, Denmark, France, Norway, USA, New Zealand, Belgium, Czech Republic, Italy, Japan, Russia, Canada, Austria and Bulgaria. Truly international!

The instigators of the Volcanic Studies Group, in the hazy days of 1964, would I'm sure have been impressed by the turnout and presentations of the 2014 meeting, which itself is a measure of the continuing success of the group. VMSG2014 began with a tour around Arthur's Seat, and the conference comprised 40 talks (25 from students) and 118 posters (65 from students). Sally Gibson (Cambridge) gave the first talk, the Hallimond Lecture of the Mineralogical Society, and eloquently introduced the 50th 'theme' that pervaded several other talks, in addtion to leading the commemoration of the considerable achievements of the late Barry Dawson. The meeting was crowned by the dinner at Our Dynamic Earth, close to Holyrood, where the VMSG Award for 2014 was presented to Jon Davidson (Durham), and the VMSG Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Steve Sparks (Bristol). That same evening, a citation was made to Sue Loughlin (BGS) for her recent award of an MBE in the New Year's Honours.

Shelly Tyson (Lancaster) won the Bob Hunter Prize for the Best Student Talk, with Harriett Rawson (Oxford) and Eleanor Jennings (Cambridge) as runners-up; and Luke Hepworth (Keele) won Geoff Brown Award the for the best student poster, with Maddy Berg (Edinburgh) and Peter Fawdon (Open) as runners-up. Congratulations to all; the assessors were very impressed by the high standards of the oral and poster presentations.

Such a conference does not by itself appear. Many thanks to John Stevenson and Evgenia Ilyinskaya for leading the team, and to the sponsors: British Geological Survey, Cameca, OMV, Thermalvision Research, ThermoFisher Scientific, Badley Geoscience, Springer, FEI, Adrok, Panalytical and Cambridge Scholars.

The 2015 meeting will be in UEA, Norwich, but in the meantime please send any 'nostalgia' photos so that we can load them onto the website.

And remember to please join one of the parent societies. Students can join the MinSoc free, and you get Elements every other month.

Andy Saunders
February 2014