Investigation of the structure and function of biological molecules through spectroscopic methods is a field rich in revealing, clever techniques and demanding experiments. It is most gratifying to see that the basic concepts are applied to more and more complex systems, making feasible the study of the behaviour of whole systems in relation to molecular disturbances. The analytical potential of spectroscopy and spectroscopic imaging enables species identification of bacteria and tissue recognition. Clear opportunities for in vivo applications become apparent in the medical field. The methods developed in biophysics start to generate spin-off in the direction of biotechnology, where in previous years we have seen this happen for biochemical techniques. New directions are manifest. Tools are being developed to investigate the behaviour of single molecules in interaction with their environment. Individual interactions can now be investigated and individual molecules in complexes can be visualized. Processes that were previously unobservable as a result of ensemble averaging can now be investigated on a single molecule level. Completely new information with regard to molecular behaviour is obtained in this way. The insights amaze us and the prospect that this development will continue is exciting. The 8th European Conference on the Spectroscopy of Biological Molecules is proud to have contributed to the dissemination of these new directions. This proceedings book is an appropriate reflection of the progress obtained so far in the spectroscopy of biological molecules.