In April 2016, an International Venus Science onference was held in Merton College, Oxford, U.K. - this brought together almost 150 scientists from around the world.
The conference provided a good opportunity to present the latest results from Venus Express as well as from ground-based telescope observations.
We welcomed in particular a strong participation from Japan, in particular relating to its Akatsuki orbiter, which arrived at Venus in Dec 2015. First results include a fascinating "bow wave" - a cloud structure like structure stretching across the equator, visible in thermal infrared observations - and a breathtaking image at 2.33 microns showing backlit clouds on the nightside, showing complex turbulent structures in the lower clouds. These first results can be seen in a recent Nature news article: www.nature.com
The spacecraft is just now starting its science observations, following several months of spacecraft commissioning; we look forward to many exciting new results.
More distant future missions were also considered, with both American and European future mission proposals being presented. Past missions, too were discussed, with new archiving and analyses of missions as far back as Vega balloon missions, from over 3 decades ago.
With financial support from the EuroVenus consortium as well as from the European Space Agency, Oxford University and the International Association of Meteorological and Atmospheric scientists, we were able to support meeting and accommodation costs for 21 young scientists, mostly doctoral students, from nine countries.