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This conference will celebrate the career of Lee Hartmann, who has made enormous contributions to our field during his productive life. For over 3 decades Lee has been a leading pioneer in characterizing the physics of molecular clouds, stars and planet formation. His scientific breadth and impact can be seen in his studies on molecular cloud formation and cloud lifetimes. This has led to a change in our paradigm of star formation towards more rapid evolution. He has been among the first to recognize the importance of accretion and magnetic fields in the phenomena observed in young stars, and has led ground-breaking efforts characterizing these effects. As a tribute to Lee, but also recognizing that we stand on the threshold of a new era with the arrival of JWST, E-ELT and SKA, it is appropriate to take stock of the most fascinating developments in our field, emphasizing those areas where Lee has made significant contributions.