In taking the lead as Chairperson of the Working Group on Thrombosis in 2000, I felt that it was important to reconstruct its brief history through the words of the persons who had served as Chairpersons. History is important, because it gives an answer – or tries to do so - to the universal need, in general, to understand who we are. We can only grasp this if we understand where we come from and why we are here, serving in a role.
Raffaele De Caterina, MD, PhD
The Working Group on Thrombosis was established in the ‘60s, in the process of the general current shaping of the European Society of Cardiology. Constituent bodies of the Society are National Societies, from various affiliated countries, and Working Groups. These were intended, and still are, mostly, as the “scientific motor” of the Society, collecting active scientists in the cardiovascular area from whatever country in Europe around common themes. The history of a Working Group on Thrombosis, one of the original Working Groups of the Society, is therefore a history of the interaction of persons from different origin, and often from quite different background, organising the scientific activities of the Society in this area of knowledge at the best of their intelligence and drive. At the beginning, this was mostly the Congress, but more and more, in recent years, the Working Group has expanded its scope through initiatives, many of which ongoing, who continue far beyond the organisation of scientific sessions at the yearly venue. It is the impression of the writer that this task of compiling impressions and memories by those who led the process in their time is not futile, and serves the purpose of constituting the pedestal, a solid one, on which we now stand. Overall – and again this is a personal impression of the writer – they give the idea of a highly active and dynamic body. A practical consequence, and possibly the most important achievement in this process, was to cement solid relationships of personal esteem, and often true friendship, among people from different European cultures and backgrounds. This has been an incredible thrill for most of us, and served the immensely valuable goal of cementing a true “European” spirit.
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