Tropical Medicine: Obligations and Responsibilities

Thomas H. Weller Department of Tropical Public Health, Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts

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May I express my heartfelt appreciation for the honor you have conferred upon me. No recognition can be more satisfying than that deriving from one’s colleagues.

As a consequence of events occurring ten to twenty years ago, we now find a regrettably small group of scientists active in the field of tropical medicine. This situation prevails at a time when the national interest is ever more intimately associated with the process of development of stable and healthy societies in the tropical areas of the world. Indeed, there is every reason to accept the thesis that prospects for the survival of western civilization as we know it are in large part dependent upon our ability to share the material benefits of our social system with the some two-and-a-half billion human beings who now exist in mass misery in the poorly sanitated areas of the world.