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Declan Costello,
Editor, ENT & Audiology News;
Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon,
Wexham Park Hospital,
Slough, Berkshire, UK.



It’s rare that one of our five senses hits the headlines and touches the public consciousness, but 2020 and ’21 have definitely seen a huge interest in our sense of smell. The acknowledgement that anosmia was a key marker for COVID-19 followed several months of painstaking research. Anosmia became a buzzword, and ENT surgeons were in high demand in the media to talk about the implications and prognosis for patients who had lost their sense of smell. For July/August 2021 our ENT Features focus on smell, and Chris Potter introduces the articles here.

The last 18 months have also seen a growth in interest in genomics, with the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium mapping the virus in an astonishingly comprehensive and speedy way. In our Audiology Features for July/August, we focus on genomics in audiological practice; Priya Carling tells us about the articles here.

Few ENT surgeons instil as much respect and admiration as Professor Janet Wilson. Her humility, humour, determination and intellectual rigour are truly inspirational. It was therefore with some trepidation that I interviewed her but, as you will see (see here), she was as entertaining and self-effacing as ever. As she steps back from clinical work (and, no doubt, becomes busier than ever), it was an honour to speak to her.

At the beginning of this year, we launched our inaugural writing competition, overseen by Lucy Dalton. We received many entries, and our winner, Vedika Dhunnoo, gave us an outstanding essay on the subject of ‘2020 Unmasked’ – see here to read her winning entry, and to hear more about the runners up.

Finally, we are seeing the green shoots of some regeneration in international meetings: plans are being made for a number of in-person conferences in the coming months, and BACO is all set to go ahead in Birmingham in February 2023. It is difficult to know how meetings will be run in future – but the success of many online events in recent months may well mean the ‘hybrid’ meetings are the way of the future. Needless to say, your friends here at ENT & Audiology News will be keeping abreast of developments and we will report back to you. 

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Declan Costello

MA, MBBS, FRCS(ORL-HNS), Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, Berkshire, UK

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