IRPA 13 - Glasgow

IRPA 13 - Glasgow

Welcome to the Proceedings of the 13th IRPA International Congress – IRPA13 Glasgow

Congress Introduction: The 13th International Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) was held in Glasgow on 14-18 May 2012. This flagship event in IRPA’s calendar was organised by the UK Society for Radiological Protection (SRP).

Almost 1500 scientific delegates attended from 74 different countries, together with around 100 Accompanying Persons and 200 exhibitors, making the Congress the world’s largest ever gathering of radiation protection experience and expertise. Everyone had something both to learn and contribute, making this Congress the most wonderful opportunity for professional development and advancement of the science and practice of radiation protection.

Congress Theme: The Congress gave special emphasis to our Theme Living with Radiation - Engaging with Society. The theme reminds us that while exposure to radiation may be either voluntary or involuntary, the management of protection will always involve social decisions and choices. To make such decisions and choices requires knowledge and wisdom, and the objective of this Congress was to increase both of these in order to help members of the radiation protection profession better address their responsibilities.

Public perception and understanding of radiation risks are often at distinct variance from the views of scientific experts. It is increasingly apparent that for many ventures involving radiation it can be impossible to move forward successfully without a structured and meaningful engagement with stakeholders, especially local communities. The Congress therefore provided opportunities for radiation protection professionals to share experiences amongst ourselves, but also to experience and interchange views with those outside our profession - i.e. those who are often called our stakeholders. We hope that this left the delegates better equipped for the future to address their stakeholders and the public.

Scientific Proceedings: The scientific content is arranged in 12 Topic Areas, as identified in the menu bar. Within each scientific area there were several types of possible sessions as follows:

  • Plenary Sessions: These sessions, by the world’s leading scientists and practitioners in their fields, presented overviews of the current state of key topics in radiation protection.
  • Key Issue Discussion Sessions: These explored the current key issues in specific topics through expert discussion, and helped us move towards the principal conclusions from the congress.
  • Technical Sessions and Poster Sessions: All the submitted papers and posters were presented within these sessions.
  • Symposia: Selected topics of current significance were addressed through specific sessions with invited speakers and wider discussions.
  • Fora: Key current aspects of the work of our sister international organizations were explored in these sessions.

In addition there was a programme of Refresher Courses which can be accessed from the menu bar. There was also a Lunchtime Lecture addressing the work of a famous Scottish scientist.

I believe that this material makes a major contribution to the advancement of the science and practice of radiation protection.

Roger Coates

Congress President