M&M-2014 Report: Opening Plenary Session features Sir Colin Humphreys and Brian Ford on new and historical microscopy


Dr Julian Heath

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 00:00
The 2014 Microscopy and Analysis meeting was held in Hartford, CT, USA, 3-7 August 2014, co-organized by the Microscopy Society of America (MSA), the Microanalysis Society (MAS), the International Metallographic Society (IMS), the Microscopy Society of Canada (MSC/SMC), and the International Union of Microbeam Analysis Societies (IUMAS).
M&M-2014 attracted over 1000 microscopists for a five-day meeting featuring workshops, platform and poster sessions and the world's largest exhibition of new microscopy instrumentation and accessories presented by over 100 companies. 
The Microscopy and Analysis booth was attended by: Rob Munro, M&A Publisher; Julian Heath and Chris Parmenter, Editors; Stephen Parkes and Charlotte Redfern, Sales Executives; and Amanda Smith, Marketing Executive.
M&A Editor Dr Julian Heath and M&A Commissioning Editor Dr Chris Parmenter attended plenary, platform and poster sessions, and toured the exhibition, to learn about the latest developments in microsopy research and to see the latest microscopy instruments and products.  We interviewed several company executives.  [See videos in related reports]
At the opening plenary session on Monday 3 August Jeanette Killius, MSA President, Kristen Bunker, MAS President, Richard Blackwell, IMS President, Anja Geitmann, MSC\SMC President, Se Ahn Song, IUMAS President and David Bell, Program Chair, welcomed the 3000+ delegates and exhibitors to this annual celebration of advances in microscopical research and instrumentation.
MSA President Jeanette Killius welcomes the M&M-2014 delegates. Courtesy of MSA.
The first plenary lecture on “How Cutting-Edge Atomic Resolution Microscopy Can Help to Solve Some of the World’s Energy Problems” was delivered by Sir Colin Humphreys of the Dept Materials Science at the University of Cambridge, UK. 
Professor Humphreys is Director of Research in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge. He is also the Director of the Cambridge Centre for Gallium Nitride and the Rolls-Royce/Cambridge University Technology Partnership for Advanced Aerospace Materials. His early work in electron microscopy focused on using electron diffraction theory to interpret the images of defects in a wide range of materials and he also developed new electron microscope techniques. More recently he has used electron microscopy and atom probe tomography (APT) for the advanced characterization of materials. In this talk he will show how atomic-resolution electron microscopy and APT can be used to help to solve some of the world’s energy problems and can also enable the commercial exploitation of materials.
After awards presentations by the co-organizing societies, the second plenary lecture on “Living Images from the Birth of Microscopy” was given by Professor Brian J. Ford, Cambridge, UK.
Every microscopist revels in the secret world that our instruments reveal. Yet one mystery remains – what was seen by our first predecessors? Attempts to recreate the earliest views have failed: television documentaries have broadcast faint, grey images lacking in definition, which compounds the mystery of how the pioneering discoveries could have been made. The realities of the cell; the discovery of the nucleus; living spermatozoa; free-swimming bacteria … none of these has been revealed to us as it was to the first microscopists. In today’s extensively illustrated presentation, we will see – for the first time – exactly whatLeeuwenhoek himself saw in the 1600s. We will follow Hooke as he recognizes the cell and Brown as he identifies the cell nucleus. The stunning video images show us what was seen centuries ago. When compared with the conventional reconstructions, these meticulous demonstrations leave a breath-taking impression. Here we are witnessing the dawn of science, recreated for today’s microscopists to savour. Professor Ford’s books have appeared in over 100 editions around the globe, and his papers appear in magazines including Scientific American, New Scientist, British Medical Journal, Nature, and The Cell. His research on the living cell has revolutionized our views on life, and he is in much international demand as a lecturer. He is currently based in Cambridge, England.
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