The first European Mineralogical Conference was held in early September 2012 at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität in Frankfurt, Germany. The idea for a joint meeting of European Mineralogical Societies was borne from the success of previous joint meetings of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland (MinSoc) with the Mineralogical Societies of America (MSA), Canada (MAC), France (SFMC) and Germany (DMG) in Cambridge in 2007 and in Edinburgh in 2009. Enthusiasm for a combined conference of European Mineralogical Societies was growing, and a central location in Europe was sought as venue. Frankfurt is an easy place to reach from virtually anywhere, and, when asked, we happily agreed to organize such a meeting in conjunction with the potential participating societies. An open invitation was extended to which seven societies initially responded. A first meeting of the presidents of these societies in Frankfurt resulted in the identification of fourteen scientific themes: Mantle petrology and geochemistry; Magmatism and volcanology; Metamorphism; Applied mineralogy; Clay mineralogy; Mineral physics; Mineralogical crystallography; Planetary materials; Mineral deposits and raw materials; Low-temperature geochemistry; Geochronology; Geobiochemistry; Advanced analytical techniques; Archaeometry, care and preservation. At a second meeting in Frankfurt, the scientific committee, now consisting of representatives from ten societies + Gerhard Brey and Heidi Höfer as the local organizing committee, identified 112 potential international convenors to emphasize the pan-European aspect of the meeting. Suggestions were made for invited speakers and the general structure of the five-day programme was decided upon.

The participating European Mineralogical Societies included the Deutsche Mineralogische Gesellschaft, the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain & Ireland, the Mineralogical Society of Finland, the Österreichische Mineralogische Gesellschaft, the Mineralogical Society of Poland, the Russian Mineralogical Society, the Sociedad Española de Mineralogía, the Société française de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie, the Società Italiana di Mineralogia e Petrologia, and the Swiss Society of Mineralogy and Petrology. All of these societies agreed to participate in emc2012 rather than (or in addition to) holding their own national meeting in this year.

This first European Mineralogical Conference was attended by 820 mineralogists. The conference was a huge success regarding the number of delegates, the quality of the presentations, and the co-operation between the ten participating national societies. Thirty-three scientific sessions arose from the submitted abstracts that fit into the fourteen broad themes, with more than 380 oral and 340 poster contributions. About one third of the delegates were graduate and post-graduate students, who had the opportunity to present their high-quality work to an international audience.

Significantly, all the aspects that are normally included in national meetings were incorporated into the emc2012 schedule of events: Bernie Wood received the DMG Abraham Gottlob Werner Medal, the Mineralogical Society-Schlumberger Award was presented to Simon Redfern, the Hallimond Lecture of the MinSoc was delivered by Patrick O’Brien, and the SIMP announced a number of ‘best PhD’ awards. In addition, the EMU Medal for research excellence was presented to Sébastien Merkel, and David Green received the IMA Medal and gave the concluding lecture of the meeting on the experimental petrology of peridotites.

Following from this success, the ten participating societies have agreed that emc meetings should become a regular fixture, e.g. in a four-year cycle alternating with IMA meetings, and that the next emc meeting will take place in Italy in 2016. The Società Italiana di Mineralogia e Petrologia, as the society responsible for the next meeting, recently announced that emc2016 will take place in Rimini from 11 to 15 September ( Other European mineralogical societies are welcome to join the conference. Please contact the SIMP president.

In this issue of the European Journal of Mineralogy and in forthcoming issues, the contents of the papers give a flavour of the many mineralogical fields addressed during the first European Mineralogical Conference. A collection of papers deriving from a session on “Biomineralogy and biomimetic materials” is also in the pipeline.

Many thanks to the great team of convenors and to the local team of volunteers for helping to make this first European meeting such a success. We hope that these events will become a regular occurrence in our calendars and wish emc2016 a successful outcome! Let’s go to Rimini!