Well, what a year. This is my last quarterly update. From now on our new website will be your first point of contact. Where do I start? I mentioned at our conference in September that this has been an exceptional year. We introduced a new logo, launched a new website (with its own teething issues, please bear with us at this early stage), hired a new Research Assistant (Mohammad Usman) and Events & Membership Secretary (Rita Gosrani) and finally, we delivered the SPR 30th Anniversary conference.

I’d be lying if I told you that the past 12 months have run smoothly without its challenges but I can look back and safely say that we are moving in the right direction both from a society as well as professional perspective. Certainly, the conference key messages will hopefully have left you with a feeling that our analytical brains will not be replaced by automated processes 30 years from now (!).

Starting with the conference, it was a pleasure to see such a wide cross-section of the membership under one roof. We are in the process of gathering your feedback and the conference write up complete with (i) a note from the president, (ii) Gerry Blundell’s paper which formed the basis of the afternoon’s breakout session as well as (iii) results from the technology survey which you completed earlier this year will be available shortly.

As for the website, you will shortly be able to register for our events directly online. I also invite you to check out our blog tab regularly after these take place. This area will include a short summary of the most recent events and every six months we will compile the summaries into a newsletter.

Fiona’s 25 years with the SPR officially come to a close. And while I have already shared a few teary moments with her she looks forward to starting a new chapter with us under her well-deserved Fellow title for exceptional services to the Society. 
Lastly I wish next year’s Chair the very best for the 2017/2018 season. Which leaves me to thank the wonderful committee team who ‘run the shop’ tirelessly for you all. It has been a steep learning curve and none of the SPR’s achievements would be possible without you; Oli, Kiran, Sandip, Tom, Danielle, Cleo, Lucy, James, Samuel, Matteo, Annabel, Helen, Farhaz, Monika, Rita, Charles, Fiona, Joanna, Arvydas, Mark and Craig.

Thank you all and hope to see you for a celebratory toast at the AGM and/or annual dinner on the 9th November which promises to be a grand affair at the Royal Automobile Club.

Vanessa Muscara