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DIBs are a set of ~500 absorption bands that are commonly detected in the spectra of stars with interstellar clouds in the line of sight. The interstellar nature of these DIBs is well established, but to date, the vast majority of these bands has not been reliably identified with a specific carrier material –to date, only two DIBs have been identified as due to C60+. The problem associated with the identification of the carriers of the DIBs dates back to 1922 and is thus the longest standing problem in modern astronomical spectroscopy. DIBs are found from the near-UV to the near-IR in the spectra of reddened stars representing very different interstellar environments in our and other galaxies. DIB carriers constitute an important and significant part of the interstellar chemical inventory. They are stable and ubiquitous in a broad variety of environments and play a unique role in interstellar physics and chemistry. It has long been realised that a full resolution of the DIB problem requires synergies between astronomical observations, laboratory astrophysics, computational chemistry and detailed astrophysical modelling of line-of-sight conditions.
The main aim of this workshop is to bring together the co-investigators of EDIBLES (ESO Diffuse Interstellar Band Large Exploration Survey) as well as experts from the LIPS (Large Interstellar Polarisation Survey) to discuss the first science investigations of these two large international observational efforts to deliver strong constraints on the carriers of the Diffuse Interstellar Band (DIBs) as well as the nature of interstellar dust grains. At the time of the workshop the observations will be at a 75% completion fraction and this meeting will thus mark the beginning of the science exploitation phase.