It is a great pleasure for me to congratulate, on behalf of the entire ESO community, former Director General Catherine Cesarsky (1999-2007) on the occasion of the 50 years since her PhD defense. This marked the beginning of a career of outstanding scientific achievements and leading contributions to the development of world-class astronomical observatories. Her period as ESO Director General saw the development of Paranal from early operations into a mature observatory, the beginning of ALMA construction, and the definition of the ELT project, to name just a few of the transformational highlights achieved by ESO under her leadership. Also during this period, five new Member States joined ESO. I am pleased to invite ESO’s community to join the online conference being organized by the French Commission for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies (CEA), which will take place on 14 and 15 June 2021, to celebrate Catherine Cesarsky’s career thus far.
Xavier Barcons, ESO Director General