Progress in Arrhythmia and Sudden Cardiac Death Research Support

  • P. M. Spooner
Conference paper


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was a season of darkness, it was a season of light...”. This schismatic opening of Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities, published the same year Einthoven was born, provides perspective on the sometimes extraordinary consequences of social and political change on a range of activities spanning from law to the pursuit of science in medicine. Although Dickens had in mind contrasts between what was occurring in England and in France in the eighteenth century, his depiction of the ways progress is affected in “times of plenty” versus “times of hardship” is also one that helps in understanding how biomedical research has changed over recent decades. Dickens’s view of events in his time are also instructive in understanding the impact of the various “evolutionary” and “revolutionary” changes that have occurred in how research is financed and managed, and how changes in the public’s perception and willingness to participate in this process have such an enormous impact on its success. In the relatively brief period since Dickens’s Tale was published, we have evolved from a system of relatively modest public funding of individual investigators in local or regional academic and university laboratories, to today’s more richly endowed, broad-based programs that may embrace many different aspects of a problem simultaneously in both academic and large corporate research centers.


Blood Institute Fiscal Year Extraordinary Consequence Coalition Leader Contract Program 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. M. Spooner
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Heart and Vascular Diseases, National Heart, Lung, & Blood InstituteNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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