The historic series of Herstmonceux Conferences was started by the new Astronomer Royal, Sir Richard Woolley, in the late 1950's. The Royal Greenwich Observatory had by then recently finished moving its scientific operations from Greenwich to Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex. Evidently the first few such conferences were relatively small private affairs, and there are few written records of them, but in later years they grew in size. After the moving of the RGO to Cambridge in 1989, they have been organised jointly with the University's Institute of Astronomy.
Our idea for the 34th Conference was to bring together different astronomical communities who study stellar evolution, stellar winds and the physics of circumstellar media, and to bring out the common physics affecting matter around both high and low-mass stars. This volume presents the proceedings. We have included all the invited reviews and the contributed oral talks, and there is a summary listing the titles and authors of all the poster papers.
Thanks are due to many people for helping to put together what was the largest-ever Herstmonceux Conference. The Organising Committee were Robin Catchpole, Robin Clegg, Peter Meikle, Jim Pringle, Anne Reynolds and Ian Stevens; Anne did a huge job as Conference Secretary and deserves special mention. The Advisory Committee were John Dyson, Alex Filippenko, Claes Fransson, Harm Habing, Alain Omont and Guillermo Tenorio-Tagle. The RGO and the IoA gave financial support, and the International Science Foundation funded speakers from Russia.