Dear PAC Delegates, dear participants, dear colleagues, dear friends, ladies and gentlemen,
As the chairman of the scientific committee of the 20th ESA Symposium on European Rockets and Balloons programmes and related research, let me first thank the city of Hyères and his deputy major, Michel Dalmas, who showed so much interest in our meeting, and Mrs Christine Laforêt, Director of La Maison du Tourisme, for their warm welcome in their wonderful city.
I also thank the local organizing committee, chaired by Chantal Delabarre from CNES, for the remarkable work they did. They managed to accommodate all the necessary conditions for the participants to have a clear overview, day per day, room per room, of the whole congress.
I also have a special dedication to Marie-Pierre, Chantal, Sylvie, Marion, Patrick and their colleagues of CNES and ESA and of the city council, who worked so hard, from early morning to late evening to make everything go so smoothly all the week.
Last but not least, I thank the scientific committee that successfully adapted the symposium organization to match for the first time with over 180 presentations, 280 participants in three parallel sessions.
This symposium met the highest number of participants, the highest number of national reports and the highest number of represented countries, ever.
But our symposium would not have existed without the participants and I want to thank the audience for the excellent work that has been done all along these days.
Lots of lots of sessions have been attended, lots of presentations have been given, and lots of talks have been listened, and soon lots of written papers will be published in the proceedings. But, beyond this tremendous work, I would like to end this short conclusive text by a remark.
One says that men make the history but they do not know the history they make. I would say the same for science: scientists are making the science, but they do not know the science they make. This means that despite the extensive view that has been given by our meeting, it is still hard to predict what will happen in the silence of the conscience of each of us and what will result from the seeds sowed in our brains during this week.
The most important thing is that these seeds are now in each of us, and that is why we have been here.
One more time, I thank all of you for your participation, and look forward to meeting you again in Switzerland in the spring of 2013.
The final participants list
Click here to view all pictures of the Symposium.