Presidential Address

C. S. Butler
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“My desire is … that mine adversary had written a book”—Job, 31:35.

It has been the custom in the past for the President of this society to sum up, in his annual address, the advances made in tropical medicine during the preceding year. With your permission, I will reverse this procedure and will attempt to point out a few of our faults, for we must all agree with Doctor Andrew Balfour that “it is sometimes more profitable to remember our deficiencies than to glorify our achievements.” The physician is perhaps of all types of scientists, the worst offender in his disregard of facts and principles discovered previously and in his tendency to under-rate the importance of these. In case an observation was one of ancient times, with its description distorted by having passed through one or more languages in translation, the physician makes little effort to put a modern and sensible interpretation upon it.

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