Mirror to Physiology: A Self-Survey of Physiological Science

Mirror to Physiology: A Self-Survey of Physiological Science

Mirror to Physiology: A Self-Survey of Physiological Science

Mirror to Physiology: A Self-Survey of Physiological Science

Excerpt

This is a motley document, the product of many, presented for what it is. Fondly conceived as another Flexner report, it lacked a Flexner to produce it. The excitement of planning by varied committees was not always maintained through execution; communication, necessarily difficult, was strained by important changes in operating staff; questions were forgotten by the time answers became available; too much was undertaken with inadequate experience and funds (large though the support seemed); multiple purposes and distributed responsibility caused confusion and delay; the inevitable and evitable hazards of an extended undertaking exacted their full toll. As a result, the report is seriously late in appearing, and it lacks important portions of the anticipated perspectives along time and across disciplines.

But high devotion and hard labor have been poured into the mold, and the finished creation is not without merit. The Survey did pioneer in formulating a study of a profession, and its struggles have supplied both guidance and warning to many followers. It did amass great chunks of new data, collate older information, and make interpretations of the whole which have been put to use long before this report was completed. And it did catalyze much other successful activity, especially in the area of education, by the American Physiological Society and its sister organizations and by agents of other interests, from mathematics to medical schools.

Now that the experiences and findings of the Survey are public we can only hope that their impact will be considerably greater--on investigators, teachers, administrators, editors, grantors; in short, on those groups who are and who channel physiology, now and in the future.

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