London has always been an important centre of modern life, a point of intersection between science, arts and technology, trade and commerce. This year, from 28th June to 2nd July, Imperial College, which is located in London’s South Kensington district, hosted the 31st European Physical Society (EPS) conference on plasma physics and fusion research with about 800 international participants. This time the science of laser-plasma interaction and inertial confinement fusion, as well as dusty and low temperature plasmas, had substantially greater prominence than previously. The conference was opened with a special address from Professor Sir David King FRS, Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government. Through its Plasma Physics Division, the EPS awards every year the Hannes Alfvén Prize for outstanding contributions in theory or experiment. This year’s award-winners are Dr. J.W. Connor, Dr. R.J. Hastie and Dr. J.B. Taylor, from the UKAEA Culham Division (UK) “for their seminal contributions to a wide range of issues of fundamental importance to the success of magnetic confinement fusion, including the development of gyrokinetic theory, the prediction of the bootstrap current, relaxation theory, dimensionless scaling law, pressure-limiting instabilities, and micro-stability and transport theory.” The 32nd EPS 2005 conference will be held at the Congress Palace of Tarragona, on the east coast of Spain, the so-called Costa Dorada (Golden Coast), from 28th June to 1st July.

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