It is my great pleasure and privilege to welcome you to the ILC 2020. The ILC is the main EASL activity, the one that marks the calendar of all European and many overseas hepatologists and other liver fans, a growing multidisciplinary group that includes basic scientists, epidemiologists, physicians, surgeons, policy makers, experts in bio-informatics and artificial intelligence, nurses and patients. We expect to have over 40 countries represented, with thousands of delegates. Especially important is that the ILC continues attracting the contribution of many young talented investigators, with an increasing number of female participants, very much in accordance with the recently launched EASL policy on equality, diversity and inclusion.
I would like to remember that EASL was born as a truly international society shortly after recovering from World War II, and that from the very beginning it was marked by the principles of driving the best science in liver related research without any barrier. Everyone with a scientific interest in aspects related with liver diseases, biology, evaluation, physiology, pharmacology, and care was welcome. Another aspect of EASL that I would like to emphasize is the willingness from the very beginning that the young generations of liver scientists should be those ruling the Association, to keep it fresh, research oriented and free of conflicts of interest that increase with age along with many other imperfections that accumulate as time goes by.
It is just perfect that this year ILC is taking place in London, one of the places where hepatology was born and grew up as a medical specialty. We are all happy to have the European meeting once more in the UK. We are proud to be here and to enjoy science while interacting personally with colleagues from so many countries, strengthening the links between all of us.
I would like to finish by paying homage to all those who preceded us in their passion for the liver, from whom we learnt and inherited this wonderful Association, and to our young fellows, who have the mission of keeping up with liver health and with European Hepatology.
My warmest welcome to all of you!
ILC2020 Honorary President