Introduction to the Symposium

Robert Briggs Watson Department of Parasitology and Laboratory Practice, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514

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Ladies and Gentlemen: The selection of Philadelphia as the site of the 1976 joint meeting of our Societies seems a singularly fortunate choice, especially so for this Symposium. One senses here something of William Faulkner's meaning when he says, in another context, that here “The past is never dead. It's not even past.”

One of our great physicians, Benjamin Rush, was born in 1745 just north of the then city limits of Philadelphia. He spent most of his life here in the practice and teaching of medicine, and he died here of typhus in 1813. But he was more than an eminent physician.

Rush was one of four physicians who signed the Declaration of Independence as a member of the Second Continental Congress. He strongly favored abolishing slavery; he opposed excessive use of alcohol and capital punishment; and he promoted the education of women and free primary schools.

Author Notes

Professor emeritus. This paper was presented, in the absence of the author, by Dr. Chernin.