As EULIS Chairman, Prof. Osther was present at the 1st Meeting of the EAU Section of Urololithiasis in London, 7-10 September. In addition to this role, he presided over several sessions and gave various lectures.
Prof. Osther is best placed to give an insight into how EULIS changed from independent body to its current position as EAU Section. The London meeting was the first one as an EAU Section, and the changes were immediately noticeable. “It has been extraordinary, actually! Working with the EAU and its expertise in organising meetings has allowed us to focus on the science.”
“Working with the EAU has made the meeting much bigger, with more participation from urologists. It’s tremendously encouraging that almost all the sessions are filled with participants. We’ve managed to attract urologists who are interested in basic stone research.”
The London meeting attracted a record number of 400 delegates and 200 abstracts, up from 170 and 70 respectively at the last meeting in Como. On its popularity: “Of course, London attracts people because it’s a nice place to come. But it was mainly down to Mr. Noor Buchholz’s enthusiasm and hard work that led to the meeting taking place here.”
According to Prof. Osther, an important part of the EULIS meeting is providing a platform for young researchers and urolithiasists. “The poster sessions are important in that regard. Younger participants come from around the world to present their findings. At the meeting, their data gets put in a larger perspective, and it’s given a wider audience. We are looking to stimulate young surgeons and researchers to get involved in urolithiasis. That’s what our different workshops around the world are about: not just crossing national borders, but human borders as well. Bringing younger scientists together with experienced ones.”
The future of EULIS is to be found in its international role. “I think we will continue to grow. If you look at the meetings we’ve had at the Annual EAU Congress, you can see that attendance has more than tripled over the last two years. I particularly like to see international cooperation. We are approached by societies from around the world for joint workshops. We are a Europe-based organisation, but we have international scope.”
The next EULIS Meeting will take place in Copenhagen in 2013. Prof. Osther will be Meeting Chairman as well as EULIS Chairman, but is confident about doubling up. “It has been a very successful meeting, and we are very happy with the EAU organisers. We hope to have them again in 2013. Copenhagen, here we come!”