HSM 2024, Siófok, Hotel Panoráma

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For our company, May also means our annual conference at Lake Balaton, which has been held in Siófok instead of Almadi for more than ten years. We are welcomed at the Hotel Panoráma not as old acquaintances, but as friends, and they do their best to make us feel as comfortable as possible. As proof of this, next year – the conference is scheduled for 7-9 May 2025 – we will be able to see our microscopic images projected in excellent quality!

This year, putting together the conference programme was slower than usual, but finally our joint work has paid off. Gábor Steinbach has worked tirelessly for months to make the conference website the best it can be, helping out when people had problems with online registration, compiling and changing the format of the abstract book on request, checking the programme, and trusting that despite the slow start, everything will work out! Tamás Kolonits, after immediately taking on the task of helping with the organisation and learn how to use a billing program so that paying our hotel bill at the end of the conference is not a problem, professionally manage the correspondence and send us notifications of the status of registrations and payments in clear tables from time to time. Kati Balázsi’s experience and advice were also a support.By the end of the first week of May, the conference programme was in place and, with incredible speed, our amended Articles of Association were adopted by the Company Court, so we could prepare for the General Assembly during the conference with peace of mind.

This year, for the first time, the conference started on Wednesday noon instead of Thursday, and Béla Pécz was in charge of opening the scientific programme and introducing one of our invited speakers, academician Péter László Bíró, who gave the first lecture. Unusually, our other invited speaker, Miroslav Ovečka from Olomouc, whose travel was arranged by his host Zoltán Kristóf, gave his widely acclaimed lecture the following day.
Our Society’s past presidents also took on the role of session chairs, a role that is by no means negligible in the success of a conference. They are not only responsible for announcing the presentations of the sessions, but also for ensuring that the speakers in the sessions respect the time limits as much as possible, and for encouraging the audience to ask questions by example. This is particularly important in the Young Speakers’ Competition, where the audience scores not only the presentation, but also the debate and the answers to the questions.
We thank all our session chairs for taking on the task and for being visibly prepared for it.

A highlight of our conference was the first presentation of the award founded by Technoorg Linda Ltd. in memory of Árpád Barna, which took place on Thursday afternoon. The presentations of the winners of the open category and the youth category (András Kovács and Tamás Zagyva) also contributed significantly to the enrichment of our conference programme. Dr. György Sáfrán (EK-MFA) was awarded a special prize for his outstanding work.

The award, which is a substantial prize money by international standards too, will hopefully attract even more applicants next year, and in addition to helping to preserve the memory of Árpád Barna and the significance of his achievements, the award will also enhance the reputation of Hungarian microscopists and become internationally recognised.
On behalf of our speakers and the participants of the conference, we would like to thank our long-standing sponsors, who have helped us to continue to hold this event in such pleasant conditions. It is worth mentioning that, although Kristóf Kovács is unfortunately no longer with us, Ákos Kelemen, who now represents SPI, has taken over the support, and we have him to thank for the elegant notebook, pen and name badge we got when registered.

Special thanks to Rita Gellény and all the staff of the Panorama Hostel, who made our stay here as pleasant as possible.

In closing, I quote from a pre-conference letter from our hereditary President, Professor Pál Röhlich:

“For me, microscope conferences have always been a friendly pleasure and a recharging experience for many decades. I never missed them, now I am unfortunately missing them. I hope to be there next year!”

So let’s meet up!

The winners of our conference:
Best Young Lecturer: Ádám Soós (SE, Budapest).
Special Award: Dóra Máté-Schwarcz Anett (HUN-REN KOKI, Budapest)
Borbála Kertész (Brain Vision Center, Budapest)

Photo Contest: Ádám Soós (SE, Budapest) AND Katalin Solymosi (ELTE, Budapest)
Special Prize:   Ádám Soós (SE, Budapest)