Last year marked the 60th anniversary of Francis Birch's landmark paper (F. Birch, Journal of Geophysical Research, 57, 227–286, 1952), widely considered the article that heralded the birth of mineral physics, the science of materials composing the interior of planets, particularly the Earth. It was also the 36th anniversary of the first International High Pressure Mineral Physics Seminar (HPMPS; formerly named the US-Japan Seminar) and the 10th anniversary of the Consortium for Materials Properties Research in Earth Sciences (COMPRES). In July 2012, HPMPS-8 was held jointly with the COMPRES Annual Meeting. Some 182 attendees from 11 countries participated, the largest number in the histories of both meetings. The presentations (abstracts and information at http://www.compres.us/) highlighted significant advances in high-pressure science and experimental techniques and set the tone for a more concerted commitment to mineral physics in the years to come.