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“A challenging year ends, a new year begins with hope”: this would have been the core of my message today, when I started thinking about the December 2022 issue of ISB Now; but in fact, this was the title of a News release by the World Health Organisation Europe, on 18 January 2022. Of course, the pandemic crisis was meant, but a few weeks later another international terrible crisis started in Ukraina, not finishing soon from what we can see, affecting again our spirits and our economies. The hope for the future is what we all want, but from my experience it is not like a dream, it is always based on present and past facts, in real pieces of evidence (... like most of our research studies, right?).

For the matter of our scientific community, we certainly hope to have a nice new calendar year, but I want to say that this definitely is grounded in a mature and strong society in fact. In the last 50 years, ISB has grown constantly, has produced robust evidence, has developed patents and products, has contributed to brilliant careers, has established an agile but robust and durable model of governance, and has learned many important lessons. Still, a number of passionate, talented, and inspired people from around the world are working today with me to maintain our programmes, to enlarge our attraction, to reach the entire world, to develop new initiatives, to give opportunities to our scientists, and also to celebrate adequately the great anniversary we have in front. We are old, but we are happy, to recall Cat Stevens, and proud of what we have achieved so far. I am at more than half-way through my mandate, and I am so honoured to be part today of this community. I am sure we in ISB can look to the future with hope.

The top event in 2023 is definitely the ISB Congress in Fukuoka. Japan is a great nation, with a long and superb history. They’ve been working very hard for centuries, with passion and competence, as a tight-knit community; they have addressed conflicts and crisis, and they can now look to the future certainly with hope. We do want to know better them, and to learn. Do not miss the opportunity to taste this fascinating culture, and prepare your Abstracts for the Congress! The Abstract submission system was already opened at the end of October and the deadline for submission is coming at the end of January 2023. We do want to meet in person again, to exchange ideas and projects, to know each other better, to hear research stories with sympathy, and thus perhaps to strengthen friendships amongst people in the world.

Happy new year!


Alberto Leardini

ISB President