The interchange of medical knowledge between the Britain and Germany has long been hampered by language barriers. It has been the aim of the Society since its foundation in 1959 to achieve a ready exchange of ideas, knowledge and personnel between the two countries. The importance of English as an international language has continued to grow and by its very growth, combined with Britain’s geographical insularity, contributes to the inhibition our linguistic skills. German medical professionals and scientists widely read English research papers and literature whilst we, to our cost, fail to read theirs at first hand. To remedy this state of affairs is one of the Society’s aims and to help this our annual conferences are held alternately in the United Kingdom and Germany.
Before the 1914-18 war, Germany was perhaps the leading centre of medicine in Europe and, as such, attracted numerous ambitious young men, many from the U.K., who trained there for two or three years and returned home reasonably fluent in German. After the second world war, the English speaking world and in particular America, came to dominate the professional scene, and so, to establish a more equitable and profitable exchange of ideas was one of the earliest aims of the Society.
The Society’s main aims are as follows: