Apart from their obvious function in bringing together many ornithologists from different countries, the International Ornithological Congresses give expression to current trends, feelings and problems and help us to judge how ornithology is shaping. It is with this in mind that we offer these reflections on the XV I.O.C. held at The Hague, Netherlands, from 30th August to 5 th September 1970. They form a sequel to the special review on 'The Helsinki Congress and the future' in 1960 (Brit. Birds, 53: 447-452) and to the more general review entitled 'The International Ornithological Congresses' in 1966 (Brit. Birds, 59: 257-261). Oxford 1966 inevitably recalled its predecessor of 1934. The span of recollection and comparison was stretched further between Amsterdam 1930 and this return to the Netherlands 40 years later, symbolised by an emblem of two Spoonbills in place of the earlier one. It was sad that ill-health prevented the president-elect, Professor Niko Tinbergen, from going through with it, but Dr Finn Salomonsen stepped ably in the breach. The arrangements made by the Netherlands Executive Committee under the secretary-general, Professor Dr K. H. Voous, proved highly successful. In particular, no earlier I.O.C. has been so spaciously and excellently accommodated as was this one at the new Netherlands Congress Centre. The ample facilities for simultaneous specialist meetings and informal groups were especially valuable for that important part of the work which, as ever, went on outside the formal sessions. Basically the timing and structure of the Congress conformed to the revised principles
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