A spectacular ceremony paid homage to the stars while paving the way for an exciting future. Editor John Pinching reports from London

Not even the lengthening shadows from nearby Stamford Bridge could excitement of people attending the 24th International Clinical Researcher of the Year Awards. While it may have been a fruitless year for Chelsea FC, at least some people would be leaving the area with a trophy.

Friendly and familiar faces from our industry convened from across the continents at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel. And, as they entered the building, they were accompanied by a delightful aperitif of tinkly jazz but – make no mistake – the vibe was truly electric.

It proved to be an evening when all the right notes were struck, as the glitterati of pharma and CRO gurus grasped the rare opportunity to acknowledge each other and everyone around them. The usual expressions of maximum concentration, which so dominate the lives of those in attendance, gave way to explosive revelling of deafening proportions.

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