As the new Chair of PASCAL, I want to wish each of you a happy holiday season - be it in the darker and wetter north or the warmer and sunnier south. The new year brings with it great prospects for our collaboration. There is a vacuum for PASCAL to fill. The 2012 conference in Brest was demonstration, if proof were needed, that our mission is timely, evidence-based, and forward-loooking. Tragically, Jarl Bengtsson died just at the time when we could celebrate the ten years of leadership he has given PASCAL. (An obituary will appear on the website soon). His wise counsel and good humor will be missed, but his values - our values - endure. In some ways 2013 could be more difficult, globally, than 2012: the geo-political situation along the 30th parallel North is even more fraught with risk, and the long-term social consequences of the crisis will become more apparent. Let's bring the expertise and enthusiasm of PASCAL as a global network to bear on policy and practice, to develop the Observatory and generate new projects.
May you and your families enjoy continued good health. With best wishes,