T. Johnson (GB), Editorial CommitteeT. Johnson (GB), Editorial Committee

Medieval scholars we are told exercised themselves with trying to find an answer to the question “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” It seems that no definitive answer was reached in those days though a contemporary view expressed that angels have a special location, but no shape, which tends to the view that infinitely many angels can be located (and dance!) on the head of a pin.

Medieval scholars did not have the benefit of computers, but if they had they might be tempted to think that angels and computers are analogous. For example, it is surmised that each Skylake chip of Intel has between 1.5 to 2 billion transistors ‘dancing’ to computer programs. And the number is changing by doubling every two years. Our Institute is also changing, whilst, we venture, also aiming to be an angel, at least insofar as setting high standards for our members and IP at large. Our new President as he says likes incremental change so we believe will lead the way, step by step, to set and reach achievable goals internally in the Institute, with the EPO, and throughout the Member States. Exciting times, which while not requiring pin-head dancing will nevertheless require sure-footedness, which we believe will not be found wanting!

Post-script: this will be my last editorial (phew! I hear some readers say!) as I am stepping down from Council and as Chair and member of the Editorial Committee. It has been for me a great joy and privilege to be able to play some small part on behalf of our fine Institute. Needless to say, I could not have made whatever contribution I have achieved without the support and friendship of all my fellow Committee members, including, it goes without saying, Sadia Liebig, and you, the readers. I am sure that the Committee will go from strength to strength, and wish it, and the Institute well. I leave you with the following from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

(Translator: E. FitzGerald)