Whither this House—Or Wither?

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Dr. William Reeves' introduction, a searing yet loving statement, moves me to propose him as this Society's official roastmaster! It also serves as counterpoint to my remarks today which represent a theme chosen with difficulty, a melody not yet perfected. In fact, I seem to recall while attempting to discuss hemorrhagic fevers with one of his graduate classes that Dr. Reeves advised, “Don't just talk — say something.” I intend to try.

Faced with the need to say something, I decided that I must choose among three principal interests: zoonotic virology, the ethos of tropical medicine, or this Society itself. Like all but one of my predecessors, Dr. Martin Young, who was numero uno and therefore immune to historical influence, I examined the record. A frequency chart by theme is shown in Table 1. Note that science has been the first choice, and that virologists have been slightly, but not significantly, more likely than parasitologists to discuss philosophy.