Amsterdam is the perfect location to host the 25th ERS Congress. Alongside the stimulating and ground-breaking science set to be delivered in the Congress programme, the vibrant atmosphere of this historic city centre is sure to capture your imagination.
The Netherlands has produced some of the key inventions in the medical field, with Dutch medical professionals producing the first diagnostic electrocardiogram in 1901 and the first kidney dialysis machine in 1943.
A physician-scientist and former mayor of the city of Amsterdam, Nicolaes Tulp, was also one of the first to report the link between smoking and adverse effects on the lungs in 1641. Tulp is best known for being the subject of a Rembrandt painting, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp (1632).
At this time, in the 1600s, Amsterdam was a great metropolis and seen as a site of global trade and scientific innovation. The Dutch Golden Age was characterised by a climate of intellectual tolerance. This allowed for greater scientific exploration than in some other European countries, where novel scientific ideas were often met with suspicion. This quickly led to the Netherlands, and Amsterdam in particular, becoming Europe's publishing centre, which quickly attracted scientists and leading thinkers.
In 2015, Amsterdam will once more be attracting the brightest minds, as international leaders in the respiratory field descend on our city for the ERS International Congress. The hottest scientific discoveries, alongside the latest clinical science, will be on offer for respiratory professionals from all disciplines.
We have a range of interesting sessions in store for you. The first Russia Day will be held in Amsterdam, following on from the successes of Spanish and China Day at the last ERS International Congress. There will also be further integration of high-quality science into the programme, an array of educational sessions and the drawing in of wider disciplines from outside the respiratory field, for example, regenerative medicine, ageing and the environment. We will also launch the next Healthy Lungs for Life campaign to ensure we are reaching all stakeholders in respiratory medicine.
We look forward to seeing you at the Congress, when we will continue the Amsterdam spirit of innovation and push the boundaries of respiratory medicine.
Pieter Hiemstra and Christian Taube.