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Richard Horton's lecture in Zagreb
By Prof.Dr. Darko Zubrinic | Published  07/19/2008 | Science , Opinions | Unrated
Recognition to Croatian Medical Journal and its editor dr. Matko Marušić




Richard Horton is editor in chief of The Lancet, one of the oldest and most influential medical journals in the world, issued in Great Britain. In May 6th, 2008 he delivered a lecture in Zagreb entitled "The nightmares of a middle-aged editor," concerning the problems of scientific publishing. The lecture has been organized by the National Foundation for Science, Higher Education and Technological Development of the Republic of Croatia and the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports.
 


Richard Horton: Noćne more sredovječnog urednika

Moj prvi posjet Hrvatskoj i prijateljstvo s urednicima Croatian Medical Journala za mene su značili pravu inspiraciju. Stvorili smo prijateljstvo koje je čak čvršće danas nego prije deset godina. Posebno mi je drago što sam mogao opet doći i ponovno susresti moje hrvatske prijatelje i glasno razmišljati o svijetu znanja, istraživanja, izobrazbe i kako se urednici znanstvenih časopisa i znanstvena zajednica uklapaju u tu sve važniju kulturu. Kao što rekoh, posjetio sam Hrvatsku prije deset godina, a to nije bilo samo impresivno iskustvo niti prilika da se osobno upoznam s državom koja je nastajala i rasla u iznimno teškim vremenima, nego i vrijeme kad sam mogao vidjeti kako se narod rađa iz borbe i ulazi u začudno razdoblje slobode i svega onoga što sloboda znači za društvo. Devedesete su godine bile godine nade i optimizma, ali ipak je previše lako zaboraviti duboke ljudske i povijesne ožiljke, čak i u Hrvatskoj, koja sada ima čvrstu demokraciju. Ponekad su, međutim, rane još uvijek svježe – poput one koju otvara članak objavljen u britanskom dnevniku Guardian u ožujku ove godine, koji je opisao kako je netko tko je sudjelovao u zlodjelima protiv vaše zemlje pobjegao i sklonio se u Velikoj Britaniji i tamo bio otkriven. Drugim riječima, rane za koje smo se nadali da će zacijeliti mogu se ponekad opet otvoriti. To je vrlo bolno, jer otvara pitanje što su donijele žrtve koje su bile podnijete. Za što ste se borili u devedesetim godinama - za nezavisnost? Što su bili i koji su danas ciljevi hrvatskog društva i kako će vaša djeca, naša djeca, procjenjivati vaše današnje postupke? Kakav će ona zapis ostaviti o našim djelima koja činimo upravo danas?

U svijetu znanosti godina 2008. vrlo je važna, jer obilježava dvije važne obljetnice: šezdeset godina od utemeljenja Svjetske zdravstvene organizacije, onaj povijesni dan kad se svijet udružio da ovdje napravi mjesto boljega zdravlja i blagodati, i šezdesetu obljetnicu Opće deklaracije o ljudskim pravima. Oboje, pravila Svjetske zdrastvene organizacije [vidi Andrija Štampar - otac Svjetske zdrastvene organizacije; D.Ž.] i Univerzalna deklaracija o ljudskim pravima, obilježavaju pravo na zdravlje, vrlo važno pravo koje se u demokraciji drži dragocjenim. O čemu je to pravo? U Europi načelo ljudskih prava ima dugu i iznimnu, premda kadšto i krvavu povijest. Tri su kritične točke u povijesti Europe i priči o sve većem uvažavanju ljudskih prava. Možda je od mene neskromno reći, ali držim da se je prvi veliki pomak dogodio u Velikoj Britaniji u 13. stoljeću kad je napisana Magna Charta i s njom i obveza habeas corpus, tj. poštenoga suđenja. Time je prvi put u povijesti Europe, suvremene europske uljudbe, legalizirano načelo pravde, koja štiti optuženika od samovoljne presude, načelo koje čuvamo i dan danas. Osamnaesto je stoljeće donijelo Francusku revoluciju koju je, doduše, obilježilo strašno nasilje, ali i iznimni europski preporod. Francuski enciklopedisti, možda prvi urednici modernoga doba, prikupljali su i usustavljivali ljudsko znanje, ali ne tek zbog znanja samoga, nego sa željom da njime poprave društvo, provedu društvene reforme. To je nadalje probudilo cijeli naraštaj pisaca, poput spisateljice Mary Wollstonecraft u Engleskoj, koja je branila i promicala prava muškaraca i žena i ideju da je sloboda temeljna ljudska vrijednost koju društvo treba štititi. Treći ključni povijesni događaj bio je opći fenomen u 20. stoljeću, nakon II. Svjetskoga rata, kad su kroz Ujedinjene narode, Svjetsku zdravstvenu organizaciju i Opću deklaraciju o ljudskim pravima stvoreni mehanizmi koji su simbolizirali doprinos ljudskoga znanja, važnost ljudskih prava i sloboda i putove kojima te zamisli mogu pridonijeti društvenom napretku.

Danas sam stvarno sredovječan - imam 46 godina, što moja kćer stalno naglašava, i urednik sam jednoga od tisuća znanstvenih časopisa. Time sam se našao na križanju dvaju svjetova - javnoga i stručnoga i moj posao, što vrijedi i za druge urednike, jest stvaranje komunikacije, navlastito u stručnom svijetu. No u tom svijetu javnost nije samo promatrač nego sve više postaje i sudionik. U času kad razmišljamo o ulozi znanja u društvu i ulozi urednika kao posrednika znanja, moramo se također upitati zašto bi naše vlade trebale ulagati u znanost, istraživanja i znanje. Zašto ministar treba brinuti o o budućnosti hrvatskog obrazovanja i znanosti? Moji odgovori na to pitanje zadiru u samu srž potrebe da se vjeruje u bolje društvo.

Negdje duboko dolje, naše društvo vjeruje da istraživanja i znanje pridonose društvenom napretku. Vjerujemo u slobodu ideja kao najbolji način jačanja društvene pravde, od Magne Charte preko Preporoda do suvremenih razvijenih demokracija i načina na koji mislimo o ljudskom znanju. Vjerujemo u zaštitu i jačanje ljudskoga života i vrijednosti, koje čuva zdravstveni sustav a jednako tako značajno i sveučilišni i obrazovni sustav – koji promiču vrijednosti koje držimo najvažnijima, za koje se borimo, za koje čak kadšto i živote žrtvujemo. To su naši građanski hramovi kulture znanja. Kazat ću jednostavno i skromno - zadatak urednika znanstvenog časopisa jest poštivanje povijesti ljudske znatiželje i vrijednosti slobode i protimbe, čestitosti i nezavisnosti. Zadatak mu je da jača kulturu učenog razumijevanja, stalnog usuglašavanja različitih viđenja istine, sve do suglasja koje čini ono najbolje što znamo reći o prirodi i jedni o drugima. Uloga urednika je da posreduju tu dijalektiku, da u duhu oštre, stroge i poštene razmjene potiču takvo javno razmišljanje.

Postavka koju ću iznijeti jest da se danas suočavamo s moralnom i intelektualnom krizom svijeta znanja. Ta kriza prijeti podrivanjem dva tisućljeća napora za pravednijim društvom. Čeznuli smo za stvarnim pravima, koja uključuju i pravo na zdravlje i – ta su prava ugrožena. Obveza intelektualaca, svakoga od vas, jest da točno prepozna tu krizu, da je analizira, definira, shvati njezinu patologiju prepoznavajući njezine uzročne čimbenike te da razmisli o putovima liječenja koji ne će samo ublažiti nego i suzbiti činitelje koji ugrožavaju čestitost akademske zajednice. Ako tu zajednicu zahvati pošast korupcije, straha, pritisaka i intelektualnog nasilja, zlo će nagristi moralnu orijentaciju i društveni napredak do razine vladavine zločina.

... [Ovdje preskačemo nekoliko stranica. Cjelovita inačica dostupna je ovdje.] ...

Sjetimo se pravilnika i prisega, poput Hipokratove. Trebamo li takvu prisegu i za znanost? U Velikoj Britaniji je Savjet za znanost i tehnologiju predstavio pravilnik za znanstvenike koji ustraje na - strogosti, poštenju, poštovanju i odgovornosti. Naglašene su vrijednosti nužne znanstveniku, kao što su poštovanje života, zakon, javni govor, odgovorna komunikacija, slušanje i informiranje. Te vrijednosti treba promicati. A što možemo u tom smislu učiniti?

Ovime sam stigao do teške teme. Naime, kad sam prije nekoliko tjedana otvorio Science suočio sam se s člankom pod naslovom "Hrvatski urednici bore se s Medicinskim fakultetom oko sudbine časopisa." Jako mi je teško o tome govoriti, jer me neizrecivo uzbudi članak u vrlo uglednom međunarodnom časopisu o određenom nesuglasju u hrvatskoj znanosti, temi koja dominira u raspravama u europskim, a sada i u američkim časopisima. Nije to samo rasprava o dvoje urednika i časopisu nego, na žalost, i nešto što se tiče kulture i vrijednosti o kojima sam upravo govorio.

Dopustite da vrlo jasno opišem svoje stajalište o svemu tome, jer ne bih želio da me se krivo razumije. Profesori Ana i Matko Marušić moji su poštovani kolege i prijatelji. Za mene su oni međunarodni simboli ne samo hrvatskih znanstvenih i medicinskih postignuća, nego i simboli hrvatskog nacionalnog postignuća u stvaranju vaše države i vremenu nakon dobivanja nezavisnosti. Za mene, njihove priče, njihovi životi, odsjajuju ponovno rođenje Hrvatske kao nacije. Njihove vrline, koje vrlo dobro poznajem, osobno i profesionalno, velika su snaga čestitosti i izvrsnosti. Njih dvoje su najveći ambasadori vaše nacije koje sam ikad upoznao, a njihov časopis, Croatian Medical Journal, širi ugled hrvatske medicine i medicinske znanosti daleko izvan hrvatskih granica.

S obzirom na sve to, pročitavši u Scienceu što se sve proteklih godina ovdje dogodilo tom časopisu i profesorima Ani i Matku Marušiću priča je koju nisam mogao izmisliti i za koju mi nitko ne bi vjerovao da sam je izmislio. Optužbe koje udaraju u srž njihove osobne čestitosti najprije se objavljuju u medijima, odbija im se na uvid dati dokaze kojima ih se tereti, odbija se poštovati međunarodne standarde poštenja i proceduralne pravde kako bi odgovorili svojim kritičarima, izostanak institucijske zakonske zaštite i, najzačudnije i najjezivije od svega, traženje, kako navodi rečeni članak, od troje psihijatara da procijene stanje uma jednoga od njih dvoje.

Ja nisam povjesničar psihijatrije, ali znam da uporaba psihijatrije kao oruđa protiv neposlušnih, pokušaji da se zlorabi psihijatrijska praksa, nametne psihijatrijska procjena i liječenje, podsjećaju na neke nedavne totalitarne režime. Psihijatrija je zlorabljena da se politički protivnici obilježe kao paranoidni, shizofreni, kao osobe s poremećenom ličnošću, ili sumnjiva ponašanja zbog nepoznatih uzroka. Psihijatrija je način da se ljude kontrolira, tlači i kritične makne iz javnosti.

Za nas koji stvari gledamo iz inozemstva, nas koji volimo vašu zemlju, koji pratimo što ti urednici objavljuju o vrlinama vaše zemlje, takav slijed događaja naprosto je nevjerojatan, izniman. On predstavlja tragediju za hrvatsko društvo i akademsku zajednicu jer, reći ću to vrlo jasno, u urednicima Croatian Medical Journala vi imate stvarne intelektualne vođe. Registracija kliničkih pokusa dogovorena je na sastanku Međunarodnog odbora urednika medicinskih časopisa u Hrvatskoj. To je bio kamen temeljac objektivnoga znanja i istraživačke čestitosti. Jedan od njegovih autora je - profesorica Ana Marušić. Nakon toga je slijedio niz publikacija o registraciji kliničkih pokusa, pri čemu je profesorica Marušić, urednica Croatian Medical Journala, jedan od intelektualnih predvodnika toga pokreta u znanosti i znanstvenoj čestitosti. I treći je uvodnik o razvoju registracije kliničkih pokusa supotpisan od profesorice Marušić. Ona je također bivša predsjednica Svjetske udruge urednika medicinskih časopisa, zapravo jedine stvarno globalne organizacije urednika medicinskih časopisa. Sada je i predsjednica Savjeta urednika znanstvenih časopisa, najuglednije uredničke organizacije na svijetu. Profesorica Marušić je predsjednica tih organizacija, vođa svih svjetskih urednika, a istodobno - što je sve doživjela? Njezina postignuća pokazuju koliko bi se Hrvatska mogla i morala ponositi ugledom toga hrvatskog časopisa i njegovih urednika i ja vam moram reći da je način na koji je vođen ovaj sukob nanio nevjerojatnu štetu tom ugledu.

Pažljivo sam iz inozemstva pratio raspravu koja se odvijala oko Croatian Medical Journala i ona mi se čini simbolom jedne druge, veće muke koja se odnosi na Hrvatsku, na cijelu naciju. To je politička bitka za veliku i uglednu europsku državu u tranziciji. Država se pod vodstvom sadašnje vlade hrabro, zadivljujuće i začudno primjereno opredijelila za društvo posvećeno znanju, obrazovanju i znanosti kao čimbenicima puta u stabilan i održiv gospodarski i demokratski razvoj.

Pozvao sam vašega ministra da o toj poruci piše u Lancetu, jer se radi o stvarno vrijednoj poruci za koju želim da je čuje cijeli svijet. No pravi je izazov to da priklanjanje znanju i obrazovanju traži i da se istodobno prihvati, zapravo i ohrabri, što nimalo nije lako - drukčije mišljenje. Prihvaćanje različitog mišljenja bitno je obilježje snažne demokracije, jer nesuglasje potiče učene raščlambe čime stvara kinetičku energiju za društveni preobražaj. Moramo biti svjesni da su urednici razmjerno nevažni za demokraciju. Mi smo tek voditelji javnoga znanstvenog zapisa. Devedeset i devet posto našega rada nije vidljivo, ne oglašavamo se i javnu pozornicu prepuštamo znanstvenicima, ali u onom jednom postotku, samo tom jednom, urednik mora progovoriti. Moraju djelovati brzo i odlučno, čim nešto pođe po zlu. Kad god se dogodi kakav prekršaj, urednici moraju istupiti i braniti svoju zajednicu. To nije ugodno, ali to urednik mora učiniti. Društvo nije uvijek jamčilo znanosti dužno mjesto; John Ruskin je napisao: "Uporaba riječi scientia (znanost) kao da je ona različita od znanja, suvremeni je barbarizam koji pretpostavlja da je poznavanje razlika između kiselina i lužina vrjednije od sposobnosti razlikovanja pravde i krivde." Znanost se ne bavi samo kiselinama i lužinama, zanimljivim pokusima i pouzdanim podatcima, nego i pitanjima pravednosti i nepravde. Reagiranje akademske zajednice na pravdu i na krivdu odražava stanje morala u široj zajednici. Hrvatska ima mnogo prijatelja u Europi i Americi, a u vaše prijatelje ja ubrajam i sebe. Zato vas molim, preklinjem - radimo zajedno na jačanju našega prijateljstva, kroz međusobno poštovanje i čestitost, a ponajprije kroz europsku viziju svega onoga što zajedno možemo postići. Hvala vam.



Richard Horton: The nightmares of a middle-aged editor

It was an inspirational moment for me when I first came to Croatia, building friendships with the editors of the Croatian Medical Journal, friendship and relationships which are even stronger today than they were a decade ago. And it is a particular pleasure to be able to be back to see my friends here and to have the opportunity to reflect a little bit on the world of knowledge, research, education, and how editors and the scientific community fit in to this emerging culture. As I say, it was a decade ago since I first visited Croatia, and that was a remarkable moment, not just an opportunity to watch personally a country emerging and growing out of an extraordinary difficult time, but it was also a moment to see a people reborn out of a moment of struggle towards an astonishing period of liberty and the impact that that liberty had on all aspects of your society. The 1990s were a moment of hope and optimism, but it is too easy to forget the human and the historical scars that run deep, even in a country that is as safe in its democracy as Croatia. But sometimes the wounds are still fresh - like a newspaper article that appeared in a daily paper in the UK - the Guardian - only in March of this year, where somebody who had taken part in an atrocity inflicted against your country had astonishingly escaped and taken up residence in the United Kingdom, and was discovered. So, these wounds which we had hoped could be healed will from time to time be inflicted again. And that is very painful, because it forces us to ask what have been the sacrifices that you have made, what those sacrifices have been for. What was it that you fought for in the 1990s - for your independence? What was and what remains the objective of your society and how will your children, our children, judge our behaviour today. How will they write a report card on our actions as we are living them right now?

2008 is a very important year in the world of science and medicine and it is important for two specific anniversaries. It is the 60th anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization, a moment in history when the world came together to build a better place for health and well-being, and it is also the 60th anniversary of the writing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And both, the constitution of the World Health Organization [see Andrija Štampar - father of WHO; D.Ž.] and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, enshrine the notion of the right to health, a very important right that we hold dear to us in democratic nations. What is that right about? In Europe the notion of human rights has a long and distinguished, although occasionally bloody, history. There have been three critical turning points in the European history and the story of the progressive realization of human rights. If I may be momentarily immodest and say that perhaps the first of those was in the 13th century in Britain with the writing of the Magna Charta and the enshrining of the right to habeas corpus, that is to say, a fair trial, legalizing for the first time in European culture, modern European culture, the notion of justice, protecting the individual from arbitrary judgement, the principle that we still hold dear, I hope, to this day. In the 18th century came the French revolution, characterized by terrible violence but also symbolizing again a moment of extraordinary European enlightenment. The French encyclopaedists, perhaps some of the first editors of our modern time, gathered and ordered human knowledge, not just for the sake of knowledge, but with the expressed purpose of applying knowledge for society's improvement, the social reform. And that triggered a generation of writers, such as Mary Wollstonecraft in England, who defended and advanced the rights of women and men, the idea that liberty is a crucial human value that we should protect in our society. And the third turning point was a global phenomenon in the 20th century after the Second World War when we created mechanisms through the United Nations, World Health Organization, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that symbolized the contribution of human knowledge, the importance of human rights and liberty, and the ways those ideas could again contribute to social progress.

Now I am truly middle-aged. I am 46 years old, as my daughter repeatedly tells me, and I am the editor of just one of many thousands of journals. But I sit at the intersection between two worlds - the public world and the professional world, and my job, as is the case for all editors, is to mediate a conversation, although largely within a professional world. It is a world in which the public is increasingly not only a spectator, but also a participant. But, at the same time as we are reflecting on the place of knowledge in a society and the role of an editor as a student of knowledge, we might also ask ourselves why our governments should invest in science, research, and knowledge. Why should the minister care about the future of Croatian education and science? And my answers to that question go to the heart of what it is to believe in a good society. At some deep level, our society believes that research and knowledge contribute positively to social progress. We believe in the liberty of ideas as the best means to foster and strengthen social justice, from Magna Charta to the enlightenment, to modern advanced democracies and the way we think about human knowledge. And we believe in protecting and advancing human life and human values, guarded as they are by health system that protects life and, equally important, by university and education system that protects the values we hold most dear, the values we fight for, that we sacrifice, sometimes, our lives for. These are our secular temples in our scholarly culture. The task of an editor of a scientific journal is, let me be very frank and modest, it is to respect the history of human inquiry, to respect the values of liberty and dissent, integrity and independence. It is to strengthen the culture of scholarly fluency, the perpetual tacking that takes place between competing visions of the truth until we arrive at an agreement that represents the best that we can say about the nature of the world and the best that we can say of one another as fellow human beings. Editors have a role in mediating this dialectics, this public reasoning in a spirit of robust, rigorous, and honest exchange.

My proposition today is that we face a moral and intellectual crisis in our scholarly world. It is the crisis that threatens to undermine two thousand years of gradual human improvement towards a just society. It is a set of realizable rights that we have been striving for, which includes the right to health, and it is these rights that are in jeopardy. The task of intellectuals, the task of every one of you in this room today is to diagnose accurately this crisis. It is to dissect it, to anatomize it, to characterize its pathology, to define the causal pathways of its disease processes, and to design remedies not only to palliate it but also to defeat the agent that threatens the integrity of our scholarly body. Because, if our intellectual communities become infected with diseases of corruption, fear, oppression, and psychological violence, the moral compass, the progress of our entire society, will be fatally corroded - to the point where human atrocities will be allowed to flourish again.

... [here we skip several pages. The integral version is available here.] ...

Think about codes, such as Hippocratic Oath. Do we need Hippocratic Oath for science? In the UK, the Council for Science and Technology has promoted a code for scientists - rigor, respect, and responsibility - a universal ethical code for scientists where rigor, honesty, and integrity are fundamental values for every scientist - the respect for life, the law, and the public word, responsible communication, listening, and informing. These are the values that we have to uphold. What can we do to uphold those values?

Now I come to a difficult issue. When I opened my copy of Science a few weeks ago I was confronted by this article: Croatian Editors Fight with the Medical School over Journal’s Fate. It is difficult for me to talk about this because it makes me incredibly distressed to read reports in respected international scientific journals about one particular dispute in Croatian science, which has dominated discussions in European and now North-American publications. Not just discussion about two editors and a journal but also, unfortunately, reflecting on the culture, the values that I have been talking about so far.

Let me be very clear about where I stand on this, because I do not want to be misunderstood. Professor Ana Marušić and Professor Matko Marušić are my respected colleagues and friends. They are to me international symbols of not only Croatia's scientific and medical success, but also Croatia's national success during and since your country's independence. Their stories, their lives mirror, to my mind, Croatia's rebirth as a nation. Their values, which I know very well, personally and professionally, are Croatia's great strengths of integrity and excellence. They are some of the most fabulous ambassadors to your nation whom I have known, and their journal, the Croatian Medical Journal, amplifies the reputation of Croatian medicine and medical research well beyond Croatia's borders.

All of which is to say, the reading of what has taken place in the past few years in an article in Science to the journal and to Professors Marušić is a story that I do not think I could have made up, and nobody would believe me if I had made up. Accusations that go to the heart of their personal integrity sprung first in the media, the refusal to fully share alleged evidence against them, the refusal to follow the international standards of fairness and procedural justice to allow them to reply to their critics, lack of institutional legal support, and, most astonishingly and chillingly of all, the recruitment, according to this article, of three psychiatrists to question the state of mind of one of these editors.

Now, I am not a historian of psychiatry, but the use of psychiatry as a tool against dissent, the attempts to pervert psychiatric practice, enforce psychiatric evaluation and treatment recalls the abuses of some very recent totalitarian regimes. The use of psychiatry to label political opponents as paranoid, or schizophrenic or suffering from personality disorders or unexplainable suspicious behaviours. Psychiatry is a means to control people, pressure people, eliminating critics from the public sphere.

To those of us watching outside Croatia, who love your country, who are committed in what they publish to the values of your country, this turn of events is unbelievable, is extraordinary. It is actually tragic for Croatian society and scholarly community, because, let me be very clear about this, in your editors of the Croatian Medical Journal you have real intellectual leaders. Clinical trial registration was first born in an International Committee of Medical Journal Editors meeting that took place here in Croatia. This is a foundation stone for unbiased knowledge and research integrity. One of the authors there - it is Prof Ana Marušić. A sequence of publications has followed on clinical trial registration, where Prof Marušić, one of the editors of the Croatian Medical Journal, is one of the intellectual leaders of this movement in science for research integrity. And a third editorial was again co-signed by Prof Marušić. Prof Marušić has been a Past President of the World Association of Medical Editors, the only truly global organization of medical editors that exists. She is currently president of the Council of Science Editors, the most distinguished editorial organization in the world today. She is the president of that organization, she is a leader of editors in the world, and yet what has she gone through? Her leadership illustrates the pride that Croatia can and should feel about the reputation of your journal and its editors and I must tell you the incredible damage to that reputation that has taken place in the way this present dispute has been conducted.

I have followed the debate around the Croatian Medical Journal carefully from abroad and this debate seems to me to be emblematic of a larger struggle that has taken place on Croatia, across the nation, the political struggle for a great and respected European nation in transition. The country that under the current government has committed itself bravely and, in my view admirably, astonishingly actually, to a society dedicated to knowledge and education and research as a means towards stable and sustainable economic and democratic growth.

That is a lesson that I have been free to invite your minister to write about in The Lancet, because it is a lesson that I want everybody in the world to hear because it is truly remarkable. But what is challenging, and understandably so, is that a commitment to knowledge and scholarship demands a parallel commitment, and this is tough, even not just a commitment but encouraging - dissent. Tolerance of dissent is a hallmark of a strong democracy because dissent provides the kinetic energy behind social transformation through scholarly inquiry. Editors, let's face it, are minor players in the theatre of democracy. We are just curators of the scientific record. Ninety nine percent of the time we are invisible and we are silent and we should allow the scientists to rightly occupy the public stage, but one percent of the time, just one percent of the time, editors have to speak. They have to act quickly; they have to act decisively when something goes wrong. They have to step forward and have to defend their community when a transgression takes place. And that is an uncomfortable place to be, but it is a necessary place for editors to occupy. The place of science in society has not always been guaranteed. John Ruskin wrote "The use of word scientia (science) as if it differed from knowledge is a modern barbarism, enhanced usually by the assumption that the knowledge of the difference between acids and alkalis is a more respectable one than that of the difference between vice and virtue." - he wrote. Science is not entirely about acids and alkalis; it is not only about interesting experiments and reliable facts. Science is also about vice and virtue and the way that the academy responds to vice and virtue reflects the moral state of our wider community. Croatia has many friends across Europe and North America and I count myself as a friend to your country. Please, I beg you; let us work harder to strengthen those ties of friendship, through respect, trough integrity, and through a shared European vision of what we can achieve together. Thank you very much.



Formated for CROWN by prof.dr. Darko Žubrinić
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