During the past several weeks, I, like many of my predecessors, have read many speeches previously delivered at the annual meeting of the American Society of Parasitologists (ASP). These are wonderful, exciting papers, and I recommend them to you. The history of our Society and much of parasitological research and philosophy are contained in these speeches. An understanding of parasitology and specifically of the ASP in the 21st century necessitates an understanding of our roots. Just as proteomics, genomics, DNA, and Mendel are a continuum, so is our progression as a science and as a Society. This thought is not original with me. Several presidents have discussed this point in detail: Eloise Cram in 1956, “Stepping Stones in the History of the American Society of Parasitologists” (Cram, 1956); Martin Ulmer in 1978, “What's Past is Prologue” (Ulmer, 1978); Harry Hoogstraal in 1984, “ASP: Its Historic Role and Modern Opportunities” (Hoogstraal, 1985); and Mike Kemp in 1988, “Parasitology a Degenerate Discipline, Populated by Degenerate Scientists, Studying Degenerate Organisms?” (Kemp, 1989).
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