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Miguel A. Virasoro, ICTP director for the past seven years, retired from the Centre on 31 May. A ceremony celebrating his contributions to ICTP took place on the afternoon of his final day. Virasoro will be returning to the University of Rome La Sapienza. He will also be devoting much time and effort to advancing the ICTP-hosted Ecological Economics programme that was officially launched last month (see below). Among those who spoke at the ceremony were Filippo Giorgi, head, ICTP Physics of Weather and Climate group, and Riccardo Zecchina, research scientist, ICTP Condensed Matter Physics group. Other speakers included George Philander, member of the ICTP Scientific Council and professor of geosciences at Princeton University (USA); Daniele Amati, former director of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste; Juan Roederer, advisor to the director; and Erio Tosatti, who is now serving as ICTP's acting director. All praised Virasoro for bringing new direction and purpose to the Centre and for leaving the institution in sound financial condition. Virasoro thanked the scientists and staff for working so hard to help him realise his dream of strengthening and broadening ICTP's unique and enduring role as an institution built by and for scientists-a place where young researchers, especially those from the developing world, can interact freely, confidently and productively with colleagues from around the world.

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