The Society was brought into being as The Irish Society For Electron Microscopy (ISFEM). The first executive committee meeting was held in a Limerick hotel in 1975 and the first symposium in UCD in 1976 (details of MSI symposia can be found here).

In 1990, at the 14th Annual Symposium held in the University of Cork, the members voted in favour of a resolution to change the name to The Microscopical Society of Ireland or MSI, an appellation which recognised the growing interest in a holistic approach to microscopy. Thus the Society extended its brief to include all forms of microscopy and imaging.

Aided greatly by the worldwide distribution of the Symposium abstracts as a supplement to The Proceedings of The Royal Microscopical Society, MSI became a well established microscopy constituency within the European theatre. Hence, in the years 1992 to 1994, MSI through a very active executive committee vigorously sought to host the EUREM conference. This effort proved a great success for in 1994 MSI won a competitive bid in Granada, Spain to host the 1996 EUREM conference in UCD, Dublin. This directly enhanced the scientific and fiscal standing of MSI, a circumstance that allowed for yearly student member bursaries to be awarded. Details of the 1996 EUREM conference can be found here.

Since the foundation of the Society, 40 years ago, MSI has always attracted a large and vigorous trade exhibition. The latter stems from the concept that the manufacturers of microscopes and accessories are of the utmost importance in strengthening the Society to the degree that a solid bond has been established between the users and makers of microscopes. In addition, it has always been our role to provide a platform for our young scientists to produce and make public their results using microscopy.

Dr David C. Cottell
MSI founding member