Recommended citation
ICRP, 2020. Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection. Ann. ICRP 49(S1), 2020.

From the Editorial In November 2019, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) held the Fifth International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection in Adelaide, Australia. Each of these symposia, held once every 2 years, has been a milestone event for ICRP. They give us a platform to present our recent, ongoing, and upcoming work, and create a forum for a broad discussion about how ICRP can best fulfil our mission to advance radiological protection for the public benefit worldwide. The symposia are also opportunities for ICRP members to come together. Although the vast majority of our work is done remotely, by telephone, e-mail, video calls, web meetings, and other means, occasional physical meetings continue to be important. This is especially true for an organisation like ICRP whose 300 or so members come from approximately 40 countries, most working on ICRP business part-time while employed by universities, research institutes, government agencies, hospitals, private companies, and the like. Physical meetings transform groups of individual experts into teams dedicated to achieving a common goal. They make it possible, for a few days, to focus together on this goal without the usual distractions. They create professional connections that enrich careers and benefit organisations, and personal connections that can last a lifetime. Typically, each year, the Main Commission meets once or twice, each committee meets once, and many, but not all, task groups meet once each. Since long before I became ICRP Scientific Secretary in 2008, there has been a practice for the Main Commission and all committees to meet together in odd-numbered years, while organising separate meetings in even-numbered years. These joint meetings promote good collaboration between the committees, and strengthen the connection between the Main Commission and the committees. The first ICRP meeting I organised was such a meeting. The Main Commission and Committees 15 met in Porto, Portugal, in November 2009. This was my second Main Commission meeting, although my first as Scientific Secretary, as I had joined the Main Commission meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina the year before, 6 weeks before I took on my current position. It was the first meeting with Claire Cousins as ICRP Chair. One of the more well-known outcomes of the meeting was the ICRP Statement on Radon, known to some as the Porto Statement, released online shortly thereafter and eventually published in Publication 118 (ICRP, 2012). The first ICRP symposium in the now-well-established series grew out of this tradition of joint meetings in odd-numbered years. My editorial in the proceedings of the fourth symposium (ICRP, 2018) recounts how this emerged. Each symposium has been a great success, with one being held every other year since the first. This fifth symposium in the series was no exception. We have now held ICRP symposia in five major regions of the world: North America, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Opportunities for experts in radiological protection from all over the world to join these symposia are crucial for an international organisation like ICRP, whose mission encompasses the globe and beyond. Despite Australia being far from just about everywhere, the symposium attracted around 400 experts from 40 countries. The structure of the event was different from those in the past, with a focus on three main themes Mines, Medicine, and Mars with these and other topics also being covered in a poster session and in other oral sessions organised in conjunction with a symposium by the Australasian Radiation Protection Society (ARPS). Highlights of the event included the three keynote talks linked to the three main themes: Paul Cuthbert, General Manager, Olympic Dam, Broken Hill Propriety Company (BHP) opened the Mines session; Professor Brendan Murphy, Chief Medical Officer of Australia, opened the Medicine session; and Dr Robert Thirsk, Canadian Space Agency, an astronaut who has spent more than 200 days in space, opened the Mars session. You can see videos of these presentations and most others from this and the previous symposia on the ICRP website or on ICRPs YouTube channel. As always, organising an event of this magnitude is an enormous task, and many deserve sincere thanks. First, thanks go to ARPS and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Authority (ARPANSA) for hosting the event. Both put in considerable effort, especially in terms of local arrangements and fundraising. Special thanks also go to the members of the Local Organising Committee: Cameron Jeffries (Symposium Convenor), Brad Cassells, Christopher Clement, Kelsey Cloutier, Gillian Hirth, Jim Hondros, Tony Hooker, Lynn Lemaire, Uma Rajappa, and Brent Rogers.

In addition to being a host, ARPANSA was also one of the larger supporters. Other organisations whose financial support made the symposium possible were: BHP (Platinum Sponsor), Tellus, Oregon State University, Rio Tinto, ANSTO, EPA South Australia, Government of South Australia Department of Energy and Mining, CamRad Radiation Services, Safe Radiation, Environmental Health Australia, and Australian Nuclear Association. Quantus was the airline partner. Special thanks go to the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, who provided support to make these proceedings freely available immediately after publication.Ongoing contributions from organisations who regularly support ICRP also contributed significantly to the symposium: Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Germany); Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (UAE); International Atomic Energy Agency; Environmental Protection Agency (USA); Japan NUS Co.; Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission; Health Canada; ANDRA (France); Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Authority; China Society for Radiation Protection; IRSN (France); SSM (Sweden); Department of Energy (USA); Federal Office of Public Health (Switzerland); Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate; Japan Atomic Energy Agency; Radiation Effects ResearchFoundation (Japan); National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Scienceand Technology (Japan); Korean Association for Radiation Protection; DSA (Norway); CSN (Spain); Nuclear Energy Institute (USA); Southern Urals Biophysical Institute (Russian Federation); Nuclear Energy Agency; International Radiation Protection Society; Reactor Institut Delft; GR (Iceland); STUK (Finland); SIS (Denmark); and Japan Radioisotope Association. Most importantly, thanks to everyone who participated in the symposium. All of this is for you, and for the patients, workers, and members of the public who benefit from radiological protection. Plans are well underway for ICRP 2021, the Sixth International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection. It will be held in Vancouver, Canada on 14 November 2021. This is a particular pleasure for me as Canada is my home country. The flight from Ottawa, where my office is located, and Vancouver is only 5 h, and the time difference is only 3 h. It is not trivial, but is considerably closer than Adelaide! We are excited to be hosted by the Canadian Radiation Protection Association and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, echoing arrangements for the symposium in Adelaide where we were also hosted by the national radiological protection association and the national regulatory authority.

Moreover, ICRP 2021, and the next few symposia after that, will play important roles in the review and refinement of the system of radiological protection. The current fundamental recommendations were published in 2007 after a decade of effort. Looking forward to the next fundamental recommendations, development of which will likely take a similar amount of time, it is clear that engagement of everyone involved in radiological protection is crucial to achieving the best outcome. ICRP 2021 will be an opportunity to explore which parts of the system need the most attention, shaping ICRPs programme of work and the global agenda in this area for years to come. Visit for the latest details. We have a very strong candidate for ICRP 2023 as well; stay tuned for more information. If you might be interested in hosting an international symposium on the system of radiological protection in your country in 2025 or beyond, do not hesitate to let me know.