After thinking about the subject of this presidential address for a significant period of time, I have chosen to discuss a view of the current state of tropical medicine and have titled this Tropical Diseases: New Peril, New Promise. I would like to view our field in the context of the expansion of medical research during the past half-century and the changes which the scientific enterprise is now undergoing. Regardless of whether we are employed by an educational institution, the military, or a U.S. government agency or are in the process of receiving graduate or postgraduate training, we are all trying to adjust from an expanding research enterprise to a steady state system. While the individual issues may be unique, the underlying theme is common to us all.
To gain perspective on the current situation, let us go back to 1945 and begin with Vannevar Bush's report to President Truman, a document which has come to be known as “Science: The Endless Frontier”.