Circulation’s First 50 Years
January 1950 to January 2000
This issue of Circulation marks its 50th birthday. The first issue of Circulation was published in January 1950. In an accompanying editorial written by H.M. Marvin, MD, then the President of the American Heart Association, he stated that Circulation was the official journal of the American Heart Association and that the publication of the first issue “represents a major step toward the realization of an ambition long cherished by the Editorial Board and by many of our members; namely, the creation of a scientific journal that shall be acknowledged as foremost in the world among those devoted to a special field of medicine.”1
The Editorial Board created for Circulation included physician/scientists representing “newer techniques and additional specialties of the time, such as roentgenology, public health and preventive medicine, anticoagulants, and catheterization of the heart.” Dr Marvin intended that the membership of the Editorial Board would be maintained such that it was “constantly and truly representative of all groups interested in the circulation, both clinical and investigative.” He further stated that:
Circulation is addressed to all those interested in the cardiovascular system in health and disease—the research scientist, the specialist, the practicing physician. Its intention is to include articles in the basic sciences relating to this field and papers representing the finest type of clinical research, as well as those which are mainly ‘practical’ in their application. Recent years have witnessed a remarkable widening of interest in the physiologic and biochemical aspects of the circulation. The journal would fail in one of its most important functions if it did not encourage publication of articles in these and other basic fields. It is the firm purpose of the Editor, the Editorial Board, and the Publisher to avoid making it on the one hand a journal so exalted in its aims that only a handful of scientists could read it intelligently and, on the other hand, a purely clinical journal which would have little interest for the investigators who are advancing the boundaries of our knowledge so rapidly. A program of such scope demands a finely balanced policy of selection; it is our belief that this can be accomplished. To keep abreast of the advances in these various fields, it is planned to publish all papers within 6 months of their acceptance.
He concluded his editorial by stating the following:
It is clearly impossible to create a journal that will please everyone; such a goal, however, may be kept in view. It is our intention to publish in Circulation papers, abstracts, reviews, and special articles of such high calibre that they will receive the unqualified approval of those most competent to judge them. We earnestly request your frank criticisms and suggestions toward this end.
The Table of Contents for the January 1950 issue of Circulation is shown in the Table.
During this year and in celebration of the 50 years of the publication of Circulation, we shall feature, in the last issue of each month, a review of progress in cardiovascular medicine in selected areas of work. In doing so, we shall contrast the information available in those same areas of cardiovascular medicine in 1950 with that available in the year 2000, highlighting the progress made in this interval of time.
I believe that H.M. Marvin, MD, President of the American Heart Association in January 1950, and his colleagues would be pleased by the longevity, continued dedication, and contributions that Circulation has made in the past 50 years. Hopefully, they would also believe that every effort has been made to provide a journal with important information for “all those interested in the cardiovascular system in health and disease—the research scientist, the specialist, and the practicing physician.” While planning to celebrate this very important milestone in Circulation’s history, the Editors of Circulation remain committed to the same principles that Dr Marvin and his colleagues espoused in 1950, ie, providing a journal with important information for all who are engaged in the struggle against cardiovascular disease in a timely and attractive manner.
- Copyright © 2000 by American Heart Association
Marvin HM. Foreword. Circulation. 1950;1:1.