ESP History

  1. 1984

    Discussion on the hypothesis of forming a European photobiological society

    In 1984 some European photobiologists began discussing the possibility of forming a European Society for Photobiology: a literature survey showed that several European centres were actively engaged in high level photobiological investigations, thus it appeared reasonable to promote closer interactions between them. In particular, the creation of ESP would have stimulated the exchange of information, site visits and more intensive collaborations between Western and Eastern European laboratories, which had been quite difficult until that date due to political factors.

  2. 1985

    Meeting in the Max-Planck-Institut für Strahlenchemie in Mülheim an der Ruhr

    For above purpose, on February 8, 1985 a task group met in the Max-Planck-Institut für Strahlenchemie in Mülheim an der Ruhr.

    The participants in this meeting were:            
    René Bensasson (Paris), Lars O. Björn (Lund), Tom M.A.R. Dubbelman (Leiden), Alain Favre (Paris), Herbert Hönigsmann (Vienna), Christer T. Jansen (Turku), Giulio Jori (Padova), Jacques G. Piette (Liège), Wolfhart Rüdiger (München), Kurt Schaffner (Mülheim an der Ruhr), Horst Senger (Marburg), Walt Shropshire (Rockville), László Szalay (Szeged), T. George Truscott (Paisley), Rex Tyrell (Lausanne ), Albert van de Vorst (Liège).

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    Appointment of a founding committee

    In the Strahlenchemie Meeting a Founding Committee was appointed which met for the first time in November 1985, again in Mülheim an der Ruhr.
    Members of the Founding Committee were Kurt Schaffner , Chair (Mülheim an der Ruhr ), Tom M. A. R. Dubbelman (Leiden), Giulio Jori (Padova), Johan Moan ( Oslo ).

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  3. 1986

    Birth of the European Society for Photobiology

    The ESP was finally born on the occasion of its First Congress in Grenoble ( France ) in September 1986.

    1st ESP Congress - Grenoble (France)

    Local organizers: Jean Cadet, P. Amblard, J.C. Beani, J. Joyard, B. Muel, M. Polverelli, J.L. Reymond, P. Vigny

    Grenoble 1986 participiants
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    The members of the first Executive Committee of the Society were: T. George Truscott (Paisley), President; Herbert Hönigsmann (Vienna), President Elect; Kurt Schaffner (Mülheim an der Ruhr) , Past President of Founding Committee; Rex M. Tyrrell (Lausanne), Treasurer; Jean Cadet (Grenoble), Secretary; László Szalay (Szeged), Officer.

    Since then many photobiologists served as Officers in the Executive Committee of the Society

    The photos above by courtesy of Professor Kurt Schaffner

  4. 1987

    2nd ESP Congress - Padova (Italy)

    Local organizers: Francesco Dall'Acqua, Giulio Jori, Sergio Caffieri, Daniela Vedaldi, G. Zampolini

    After the second congress (Padova, Italy, September 1987), the congresses of the Society have been held every second year in various European countries.

    Since 1987, on the occasion of the biennial congress, the Executive Committee of the ESP awards a medal to distinguished scientists whose research achievements in Photobiology are internationally acknwoledged as outstanding and who have given crucial contributions to ESP activities.

    First official journal of the ESP

    In 1987 the first official journal of the ESP was published. In the first issue the President announced that ESP within a year has rapidly grown to a membership from about 30 countries, of which about 10 were outside Europe with the other 20 split between East and West Europe.

    The Editors-in-Chief of the first official journal have been Giulio Jori (1987-1992), T. George Truscott (1993-1998) and Tamás Vidóczy (1999-2001).

  5. 1989

    3rd ESP Congress - Budapest (Hungary)

    Local organizers: Györgyi Rontó, Gy. Garab, I. Horkay, K. Jobst, Tatiana Szitó

  6. 1991

    4th ESP Congress - Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

    Local organizers: Tom M.A.R. Dubbelman, Gerard Beijersbergen van Henegouwen, Johan Lugtenburg, Len Roza

  7. 1993

    5th ESP Congress - Marburg (Germany)

    Local organizers: Horst Senger, Holger Dau, Dieter Dörnemann, Paul Galland, Manfred Tidow

  8. 1995

    6th ESP Congress - Cambridge (UK)

    Local organizers: Anthony R. Young, Paul Heelis, Jane McGregor

  9. 1997

    7th ESP Congress - Stresa (Italy)

    Local organizers: Francesco Lenci, Giovanni Checcucci, Francesco Ghetti

  10. 1999

    8th ESP Congress - Granada (Spain)

    Local organizers: Miguel A. Miranda, Bartolomé Quintero

  11. 2001

    9th ESP Congress - Lillehammer (Norway)

    Local organizers: Terje Christensen, Kristian Berg, Berit Kjeldstad, Ellen Bruzell

  12. 2002

    Official journal (PPS) published by Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

    The official Journal of the Society is Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences (PPS), jointly owned by ESP and EPA (European Photochemistry Association) has been published from January 2002 to December 2020 by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

    The first Editors-in-Chief of PPS for the Photobiology Section have been Tamás Vidóczy (January-June 2002), Jacques Piette (July 2002 - December 2003), Janet F. Bornman (January 2004 - December 2006). Since January 2007 the Editor-in-chief is Rex M. Tyrrell. For the Photochemistry section the first Editor-in-Chief was Frank Wilkinson and since the beginning of 2006 the Editor-in-Chief is Frans De Schryver.

  13. 2003

    10th ESP Congress - Wien (Austria)

    Local organizers: Herbert Hönigsmann, Robert Knobler, Franz Trautinger

  14. 2005

    11th ESP Congress - Aix-les-Bains (France)

    Local organizers: Jean Cadet, Thierry Douki, Olivier Falletti, Jean-François Millau, Stephane Mouret, Sandrine Terrier, Jean-Luc Ravanat, Evelyne Sage, Christine Vever-Bizet

  15. 2007

    12th ESP Congress - Bath (UK)

    Local organizers: Rex Tyrrell, Helen Thame, R.H. Guy, S.H. Moss, C. Pourzand

  16. 2009

    13th ESP Congress - Wroclaw (Poland)

    Local organizers: Piotr Ziólkowski, Krzysztof Symonowicz, Andrzej Bronowicz, Elzbieta Gamian, Kamil Jurczyszyn, Artur Lipinski, Anna Lis, Beata Osiecka, Pawel Ostasiewicz, Joanna Rogala, Marta Rzeszutko, Przemyslaw Sadowski, Krzysztof Symonowicz, Zdzislaw Wozniak

  17. 2011

    14th ESP Congress - Geneva (Switzerland)

    Local organizer: Norbert Lange

  18. 2013

    15th ESP Congress - Liège (Belgium)

    Local organizers: Jacques Piette, Cécile Moucheron

  19. 2015

    16th ESP Congress - Aveiro (Portugal)

    Local organizers: Maria Amparo Faustino, M. Graça P.M.S. Neves, Adelaide Almeida

    Aveiro 2015 participiants
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  20. 2017

    17th ESP Congress - Pisa (Italy)

    Local organizers: Francesco Ghetti, Giovanni Checcucci, Francesco Lenci, Franco Fusi, Lucia Guidi

    Pisa 2017 participiants
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  21. 2019

    World Congress on Light and Life (17th Congress of the International Union of Photobiology and 18th Congress of the European Society for Photobiology) - Barcelona (Spain)

    Local organizers: Santi Nonell, Montserrat Agut, Diego de Argila, Yolanda Gilaberte, Amadeu Llebaria, Maria Lluïsa Sagristá

    Barcelona 2019 participiants
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  22. 2021

    Springer Nature has become the publisher of PPS

    Since January 2021 Springer Nature has become the new publisher of Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences.

    19th ESP Congress - WWW and Salzburg (Austria)

    Local organizers: Kristjan Plaetzer, Angelika Hofer, Barbara Krammer, Giorgia Miolo, Francesco Ghetti

  23. 2023

    New ESP Editor-in-Chief of PPS

    Since May 2023 Kristjan Plaetzer, head of the Laboratory of Photodynamic Inactivation of Microorganisms, Department of Biosciences, University of Salzburg is the new Editor-in-Chief of PPS.

    20th ESP Congress - Lyon (France)

    Local organizers: Thierry Douki, Laure Guy, Akos Banyasz, Yann Bretonnière, Anne-Laure Bulin, Jean-Luc Ravanat

    Lyon 2023 participiants
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    Many thanks to José M G Pereira for this one and the other photos of the Congress.

ESP Initiatives

In addition to the foundation and development of an international high quality journal, ESP has been, since its beginning, actively committed in the promotion of photobiology both within and outside Europe. Selected examples of such initiatives are:

  • The organization of the book series Comprehensive Series in Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences which aims at highlighting the basic principles, state-of the-art and future perspectives in the various branches of photobiology; fourteen books have already been published and three more are in the pipeline.
  • The promotion and support of regional photobiology congresses in both Europe and several areas worldwide, including South-East Asia, Latin America and Mediterranean countries.
  • The organization of photobiology schools at both basic and advanced levels.