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



It is such a pleasure to see ever-increasing numbers of meetings going ahead in the coming months – after so much time away from physical gatherings, there seems to be a real hunger for in-person conferences where we can meet up with friends and colleagues. In our Newsround section (see our Digital Issue here) we report on a number of meetings, including the very successful ERS event in September in Greece and a hybrid meeting of ENT UK in the newly-renovated Royal College of Surgeons of England. The ENT & Audiology News team are looking forward to attending the BAA meeting in November in Manchester – this will be the first meeting we will have (physically) attended since the pandemic struck.

Dozens of meetings are planned for the months ahead, and I myself am involved in the planning for BACO 2023, which will be held in Birmingham after last year’s virtual event. Watch this space for more news in the next few months.

For Nov/Dec 2021, both feature sections explore new frontiers: in our Audiology Features, Gareth Smith looks at the topic of ‘Space and Extreme Environments’. It is a near certainty that, in the next couple of decades, people will travel to Mars, so this subject will become increasingly important – particularly as the journey takes around seven months!

Our ENT Features examine the burgeoning field of ‘Robotics in Head and Neck Surgery‘. The pace of change in this area is slightly dizzying, and Prof Vin Paleri steers us through the main areas for discussion in his introduction here.

Following our immensely successful essay competition, we have just supported an art competition run by the charity, Helping Uganda Schools (HUGS) based on the topic ‘What Does Sound Look Like to You?’. The winning entry is on our cover, and you can read an interview with the winner, Diana Terry, here.

It is always fantastic to be able to report on awards given to our good friends: so it is with great delight that we heard that on 3 September at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Prof Shahed Quraishi OBE was awarded the FRCS ad hominem, one of the highest awards of the college, for his services to surgical training in UK and abroad. His tireless work on the ENT Masterclass project will be well known to thousands around the world, and this award is richly deserved. Congratulations also to ENT UK who have been presented with the 2021 Association Excellence Award in recognition of the support they provided for clinicians worldwide throughout the pandemic. Emma Stapleton caught up with ENT UK President, Prof Nirmal Kumar, following this award. Click here to read this.

As we emerge from the enforced hibernation of the COVID restrictions, we find ourselves entering (at least here in the Northern hemisphere) the hibernation of winter. So if you are reading this magazine towards the end of 2021, we wish you a happy and successful New Year, and we look ahead to 2022 with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

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Declan Costello

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

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