The George E. Brown Memorial Lecture
Fifteen Years of Progress in Cardiovascular Disease The Role of the American Heart Association in Research
In the course of this presentation I hope it has become evident that the professional life of George Brown could well serve as a model for the activities of the American Heart Association, which has made astonishing and gratifying progress in a few years. The advances in physiology, anatomy, surgery and medicine, as related to cardiovascular diseases, are justifiable reasons for pride. Yet pride in the past can produce no results in the future. Progress in the future must be supported by a tripod, such as has supported it in the past; one leg of the tripod is zeal, another is utilization of skill and knowledge, and another is money. We must furnish all three. The unsolved problems are unsolved not only because they are difficult but because we have not yet achieved a coordinated program of investigation. We must abandon all feelings of futility and avoid tedium. I can find no logical reason to believe that any important cardiovascular disease cannot be largely or wholly vanquished. If the conquest of these diseases continues at the rate which characterized the fifteen years just past, within the lifetime of physicians now living there will be no cardiovascular disease which cannot be prevented or corrected. If we remain imbued with untiring resolution to attack vigorously and with persistent zeal the greatest destroyers of health and life in America, such a program will be continued. We must hold forever before ourselves the truism that scientific research is progress.
Because this is the George Brown Memorial Lecture, I may appropriately quote from another "Brown," although spelled Browne, Sir Thomas, the author of "Religio Medici," who, in 1643, wrote as follows:
"The World which took but six days to make, is like to take six thousand to make out: meanwhile old Truths voted down begin to resume their places, and new ones rise upon us.... Men disparage not Antiquity, who prudently exalt new Enquiries, and make not them the Judges of Truth, who were but fellow Enquirers of it.... Despise not the obliquities of younger ways nor despair of better things whereof there is yet no prospect."
- © 1950 American Heart Association, Inc.