|Year : 1966 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 182-186
XXth International congress of ophthalmology - munich - 1966.
|Date of Web Publication||17-Jan-2008|
S N Cooper
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Cooper S N. XXth International congress of ophthalmology - munich - 1966. Indian J Ophthalmol 1966;14:182-6
As Indian Ophthalmologists who were given the opportunity to hold the previous International Congress four years back, those who attended this Congress had a special interest in this meeting, as it afforded an opportunity to compare our efforts with those of a progressive European Country. Considering that the Congress in New Delhi was held under the shadow of an impending invasion the Indian effort in 1962 matched well with the German performance this year although the arrangements were elaborate in the latter instance.
It would be interesting to bring out the differences. Firstly the main meeting this year was preceded by several symposia held at different places, which made the whole tenure of the Congress last for over 8 days. The five main symposia were on the subjects of (1) Glaucoma (director H. Goldmann), (2) Biochemistry of the Eye (director J. Nordmann), (3) Detachment of the retina (director MeyerSchwikerath), (4) Electroretinography (director J. Francoise), Strabismus, (director A. Jampolsky), each lasting for three days ending by the 13th August. Each had its scientific and social programmes. The one on Biochemistry of the Eye which the reporter attended, was held at a beautiful placed called Tutzing situated on a picturesque lake, the Starnburger. Very adequate and efficient arrangements were made to house the participants at the Academy by the organizing secretary, Prof. Dardenee. The small hall had wonderful acoustics and an average daily attendance of a 100 or so included the 'giants' in bio-chemistry of the eye, whose high standard of discussion was most instructive. Great importance was placed on discussion and sometimes one wondered whether the discussion was not drifting- out of bounds.
It was interesting to note that in the absence of simultaneous translation facilities, the official language was English and not German and it was surprising how well most of the participants spoke understandable English.
'The social programs included a visit to the Bavarian Alps, reaching the top by a rope trolley, followed by a dinner at an Alpine resort called Garmisch Partenkirchen. The president of the Congress stood another dinner at another health resort called Feldafiry, situated on the same lake.
Prof. Dardenee of Bonn had organized this symposium extremely successfully.
There were other smaller symposia held on the following subjects: at different places and at different times.
1. Ultra sound, 2. Contact lenses, 3. Industrial medicine.
The main congress was held at the Exhibition grounds of Munich, the capital of Bavaria, the land of the Eastern Alps, of many beautiful lakes and castles which reflect the pomp and splendour of days gone by. The Ausstellung park as the exhibition grounds were called, covers a very extensive area and has no less than 7 halls with facilities for offices and discussions in smaller rooms. In this, all the scientific work of the Congress could easily be accommodated including the scientific and commercial exhibitions and no one could have asked for better facilities. On the other hand the grounds were so extensive that one missed the compactness of Vignyan Bhavan at New Delhi and crossing courtyards when there was wind and rain was a little troublesome. However, there were so many items of interest going on simultaneously that one could call it a "three ring circus," only, the items in all the "rings" were going on at the same time. However, one could utilize his time profitably by proper choosing but naturally could not be present at all the scientific fodder that was dished out.
About seventeen hundred delegates from some 65 countries registered their names for the Congress and as far as one could judge about fifteen hundred must have attended. There was a fair contingent from India though it was not as big as on previous occasions. About fifteen were present although about thirty had registered. The number was augmented by several Indian ophthalmologists now studying in Europe. For those who could not be present, arrangements were made to send their folders to their respective addresses by post.
On the 13th, registration of the delegates began and the scientific and commercial exhibitions were open for exhibition though no official opening ceremony of any kind was made.
The official languages were English, German and French and in all simultaneous translations were carried out very efficiently.
The foretaste of the hospitality began on the night of the 13th when in the huge Hall of Hercules a sumptuous buffet dinner with wine, champagne and beer was arranged and some 20 different dishes were laid out in artistic array. It gave everyone the usual first day opportunity to renew old acquaintances and make new ones.
The opening of the congress was a quiet, dignified and impressive ceremony. It commenced with a symphony by Bach ably played by the Munich Symphony Orchestra. Then came the welcoming speeches by the President of the Congress Prof. Dr. H. K. Muller which was followed by that of the President of the International Council Dr. D. Vail. Representatives of the different continents gave their addresses, which was followed by the addresses of the Dean of the medical faculty and the Mayor of Munich.
This was followed by the Vice Premier's address and the Congress was opened by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany. Dr. h. c. H. Lubke.
Prof. Muller acknowledged the addresses and thanked everyone who took part in the opening ceremony.
After this, Dr. D. Vail, President of the International Council, presented the Gonin Medal to Prof. Dr. Frangois and Prof. Sautter presented the Graefe Medal to Prof. Dr. Goldmann.
The ceremony came to an end with another symphony, that of Hayden played by the Munich Chamber Orchestra conducted by H. Stadlmair.
111 The Scientific program can be divided into eight groups.
1. Main subjects: for which speakers were invited and on which round-table talks and discussions took place. There were four subjects.
(a) Retinal Circulation : there were physiologists, anatomists and Pathologists who took part. Dr. Sohan Singh Harey now working in the Institute at Judd Street, London, gave two interesting papers in this connection.
(b) Statistical methods for the Evaluation of Ophthalmological Therapeutic Results, in which clinicians and statisticians took part.
(c) Uveitis in childhood.
(d) Infections of the Eve caused by viruses and fungi.
2. Free communications were grouped rightly into the following groups (1) Cataract. (2) Rare diseases. (3) Tumours. (4) Genetics. (5) Keratoplasty. (6) Miscellaneous Operations. (7) Miscellaneous. (8) Physiology of the Eye. (9) Method of Examination.
The discussions on these subjects either immediately followed or were held in the discussion room (a different room) on the next day. This, in our opinion caused a little discontinuity and confusion.
(a) of the International Assembly for Prevention of Blindness.
(b) of the International Organisation against Trachoma.
(c) of the Federation of International Ophthalmological Societies.
4. Reports on Symposia: As stated previously, symposia on four principal subjects were held previous to the Congress and the Presidents of each of these symposia submitted a report at the Congress followed by discussion and some relevant papers.
5. Films: There were as many as 70 films for exhibition, which were shown in two different halls. Two prizes were given for the best film exhibits --The Conrad Berries Prize went to Prof. Boberg---Ans, J. (Denmark) (Holland) and the Prize of the International Eye film Library to Prof. Castroviejo (U.S.A.) for his Film Techniques of Prosthokeratopasty.
6. The Scientific exhibition was a very interesting section consisting of some 40 exhibits. The presentation of many of them had very instructive features. Cryosurgery, micro-surgery, fluorescein studies, intraocular prosthesis were some of the prominent subjects.
7. Commercial Exhibits: The commercial exhibition as usual was well patronized but most of the items were out of reach for the Indian contingent. The contribution by the Indian Contingent to the Scientific program was quite fair. They read about 20 papers in all, at least three of them were at present residing out of India. Dr. Consul and Dr. Cooper took part in the biochemistry symposium, Dr. Dastoor in the symposium on Retinal Detachment and Dr. Talwalkar that on Squint. Drs. Avasthi, Chandra, Consul and Kulshestra, I. S. Jain, Kapoor, Malik, Malik and Seth, Mascati, Pahwa, Puttana, Rohetgi, Siva Reddy and Shukla read a paper each. As regards the films, Dr. Consul was on the board of Selection and Dr. Cooper was the only one to exhibit a film.
Dr. Dastoor acted as the Chairman of one of the Scientific Sessions, in place of Dr. N. Ashton.
The Congress came to an end on the 19th at an impressive closing ceremony.
At the outset, the President of the International Council of Ophthalmology Dr. D. Vail communicated the decisions of the International Federation of Ophthalmological Societies. Amongst the important communications were the following
1. Adoption of the Coding System for recording Disorders of the Eye prepared by Dr. Schapperd and Dr. Colenbrander of the Netherlands and recommended by a committee consisting of Prof. Francois, Prof. Bietti, Dr. Keith Lyle and Dr. Vail. The scheme as prepared was given to each delegate in his folder.
2. To accept the invitation of Mexico for holding the next International Congress in 1970.
3. To appoint Prof. Charamis (Greece) as the President of the International Council in place of Dr. Vail whose presidentship expired with the Congress.
4. To appoint the following new members to the International Council in place of those whose eight years of office expired with the Congress.
Dr. Cooper (India) in place of Dr. Uyemura (Japan) to represent Asia.
Mrs. Prof. Radnot (Budapest) to replace Prof. Melanowski.
Prof. Crock (Melbourne) to replace Dr. MacDonald.
5. Four Societies, those of Syria, Iran, Pakistan and Korea were elected as new members of the International Federation of Ophthalmological Societies.
The retiring president of the Congress then communicated a brief summary about the preparations of the Congress and praised the team-work under the able guidance of Prof. Miller and Prof. Weigelin which was responsible for the success of the Conference.
This was followed by the closing speeches of the representatives of each Continent thanking the hosts for their hospitality. On behalf of the Asian delegates Dr. Cooper gave a speech in which he compared the workings of the Congress to the movements of a major musical work. He compared the closing to the second or andento movement which is soft and a little sad. He thanked the hosts and praised the country and the people for producing men like Helmholtz and Von Grxfe the doyens in Ophthalmology, a peaceful science like music in which sphere the same country had also produced men like Bach and Beethoven.
The retiring president of the International Council then passed on the insignia of his office to the newly elected president Prof. Charamis under loud acclamations.
The Congress ended with the speech of Prof. Mullerr who thanked the participants, the closing day speakers and the delegates who had traveled long distances to attend the Congress.
For the ladies, special programs were arranged-visits to some of the numerous castles, breweries, shops, lakes, and a full-day excursion through upper Bavaria and Oberammergau, the home of the famous "Passion Play." Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the program must have been the Fashion Show with a living duplication of King Ludwig I's "Gallery of Beauties" which is a collection of paintings of beautiful ladies in the costumes of those glamourous times, by the court painter Sticler.
A number of Social events had been arranged.
The precongress informal gathering in the Hall of Hercules on the night previous to the opening has already been described.
On the opening day of the Congress there was a festival performance of the opera "Der Rosenkavalier" by Richard Strauss at the State Opera House. The tickets for the performance were sold out long in advance.
On the following day a reception was given by the Bavarian Prime Minister Dr. Goffel at Scheissheim Castle. Again a sumptuous feast.
Instead of the official dinner a "Bavarian Evening" was arranged at a typical beer-cellar-- Uenbraukeller with a typical Bavarian meal and entertainment. No speeches: and that was a relief to many who had their fill of the beer, the food and the exhibition of typical Bavarian music and dancing.
After the congress a trip was arranged to the Herrenshinsee a magnificent castle built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, about 90 Km from Munich. The delegates were conveyed by buses and after a dinner at the Hotel a concert of Chamber music was arranged. Handel's music, played by candle-light in the hall of Mirrors, a huge elongated hall with wonderful acoustics gave all the boost to the beautiful music one could hope for. One of the artists was an ophthalmologist himself-Dr. Peter Clemente from Munich who played the Cembalo.
Thus ended a memorable Congress, rich in the scientific fare it provided, held in the city of Munich, the heart and capital of Bavaria with its beautiful environments, the land of song and art science and culture, museums and theatres and castles but which will be best remembered for its cheerful hospitality, free and easy joviality and spontaneous courtesy.
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