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Molecular Medicine

, Volume 20, Supplement 1, pp S24–S30 | Cite as

Ken Warren and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Great Neglected Diseases Network, 1978–1988: The Transformation of Tropical and Global Medicine

  • Conrad Keating
Retrospective

In 1970, Sir Harold Himsworth, Secretary of the British Medical Research Council, published a book on the theory of scientific knowledge in which he observed how scientists add to the collective corpus of enlightenment (1). He rejected the Baconian picture of natural knowledge as a ramifying tree, which scientists explore by climbing like squirrels up and out along the branches. Instead, he proposed the model of a great sphere into which, more like moles, scientists burrow centripetally from multiple starting points on its surface. At any point, they start with a concrete problem and a practical aim.

A decade earlier, the American medical researcher, Kenneth S Warren identified just such a problem and, more importantly, a scientific program for its alleviation. Warren had developed a personal research formula in immunoparasitology that had established his status as a renowned investigator in schistosomiasis. His work was an early attempt to apply modern biomedical technology in the...

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to express my appreciation to all the individuals who gave me so much help, advice and encouragement, while researching and writing this article. They include David Bradley, Tony Cerami, Allen Cheever, Keith McAdam, Christopher Murray, Sir Gustav Nossal, Dame Bridget Ogilvie, Sir Richard Peto, Julia Walsh, Sir David Weatherall and Hans Wigzell.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Wellcome Unit for the History of MedicineOxfordUK

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