The International Association of GeoChemistry (IAGC), founded in France in 1967, has recently celebrated its 40th birthday. Three of its Working Groups are known across the wider geochemical research community as organizers of a series of focussed international symposia. While the periodicity of symposia organized by the other two working groups, Water-Rock Interaction and Geochemistry of the Earth Surface, is three years, symposia of our Working Group (AIG, Applied Isotope Geochemistry) take place every other year. It was the intention of the Founding Fathers of AIG symposia (Norway, 1993) to keep the event rather small (about 100 people), to have just one oral session at a time (so that workers in various areas of isotope research can appreciate the richness of methodologies and research topics), to highlight poster presentations, and promote exchange of information between researchers and industry. This special issue of Applied Geochemistry contains 14 papers presented at the 6th International Symposium on Applied Isotope Geochemistry (AIG-6), held in Prague, Czech Republic, from 11 to 16 September 2005. A Benedictine Abbey, situated in a peacefull setting on the outskirts of Prague, became the venue of the symposium. Exquisite architecture dating back to 10–18th century, and, in particular, the (“almost distractive”) Baroque ceiling fresco in the main lecture hall will be long remembered by all 200 participants. Indeed, the Prague meeting became too large to honor the tradition of just one session: two concurrent sessions were held, with the dividing line being that between low- and high-temperature geochemistry. Delegates from 28 countries on five continents took part, a large number of participants came from Australia, Canada, US, UK, Germany, France, Portugal, Japan and Switzerland. Over 90 oral presentations and over 80 posters covered all aspects of modern isotope geoscience. Isotope biogeochemistry of Cr, Cd, Fe, Ca and O was one distinct highlight. High-temperature pertrochemistry-oriented papers (isotopes of Li, Mo, Fe) represented about one fifth of AIG-6 presentations. Environmental studies using sulfur isotopes filled two specialized sessions. In all, 23 different traditional and not-so-traditional isotope systems were discussed, further including, e.g., Cl, Pb, Sr, N, C and H. Papers in this volume cleary do not cover the entire spectrum of isotope systems presented at AIG-6. This may not be surprising in light of the fact that many of the novel results came from on-going studies. We write this Preface on the eve of the 7th International Symposium on Applied Isotope Geochemistry. In September 2007, AIG-7 is being held near the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Our Working Group is thus proud to continue the tradition of bringing AIG symposia to geographically widely distributed places and communities. The South African meeting follows, in addition to the above mentioned Norway and Czech Republic, such host countries, as the USA, Australia, Canada and France. All future activities of the Working Group on Applied Isotope Geochemistry of IAGC will continue to rely on enthusiasts from a variety of backgrounds. Along with authors of novel geochemical data, it is these volunteers who are to be thanked for the increasing perception of various IAGC-sponsored symposia as the “family jewels” of the Association. We would like to take this opportunity to say a very grateful thank you to Eva Pacesova of the Czech Geological Survey, who served as our patient Editorial Assistant, led the AIG-6 Local Arrangements committee, and also edited the AIG-6 Abstract volume.
2008. Vol. 23, no 10, 2799- p.