It was great to be back at the American Society of Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) Annual Conference and take the pulse of this buoyant industry first hand. Now in its 72nd year and held in sunny (or not so much) Anaheim on June 2nd-6th, ASMS felt busy and its mood resolute, with a strong focus on real-world applications and the sense of a community set to take science to the next level.

2024 is my fifth year at the show – albeit the first two virtual – and in the short time I’ve been going I felt a new energy in this year’s halls. Minneapolis in 2022, the first in-person ASMS after lockdown, seemed slightly reserved, Houston last year was packed and bustling, but in Anaheim I found a strong sense of purpose among delegates keen to share their achievements among the global community and with the scientific media.

As mass spectrometry (MS) enters a new era, graduating from its roots in analytical chemistry to broader application in big picture fields such as new cancer biomarkers, biologics, microplastic contaminants, battery efficiency and food quality control, for example, what’s clear is that the ASMS community is passionate about driving the technology forward to reach its full potential. 

Key themes at this year’s show included: