J. Exp. Path. (1990) 71, i-iv
Journal of Experimental Pathology, I990 The Journal comes of age This issue makes a milestone in the history of the Journal. Hitherto, it has carried the proud title of The British Journal of Experimental Pathology; from now it will be called more simply, Journal of Experimental Pathology. This name change has not been undertaken lightly; the Journal has an illustrious history and has been used as the journal of choice for publication of original medical and scientific papers by many notable authors. However, knowledge is not confined by national boundaries; by its nature science is universal and the function of any serious scientific journal is to broadcast information as widely as possible. Over the years, the international impact of this journal has been reflected increasingly both by its readership and by the multinational representation of its authors. After careful consideration and in recognition of current moves to break down barriers to communication between nations, the Governing Council has decided that this is an appropriate time to drop the word British from the title and also to include a number of eminent European and other overseas scientists among the members of the Editorial Board. The history of the Journal extends back some 70 years. In May I 9 I 9 Paul Fildes, then Assistant Bacteriologist at the London Hospital, together with James McIntosh, J.A. Murray and W.E. Gye, proposed the launch of a new journal to be called The British Journal of Experimental Pathology, for the publication of experimental research in bacteriology and pathology. At that time, the existing UK journals, namely the Journal of Pathology and Bacteriology and the Journal of Hygiene, were largely concerned with observational and descriptive accounts of morbid pathology and the epidemiology of infectious
diseases. Those European journals which had published experimental papers before I 9 14 had not then recovered from the effects of the First World War which had ended only some 6 months previously. Fildes and his colleagues realized that a new British journal with a fresh editorial outlook was urgently needed to cater for the rapidly increasing output of experimental medical research which was then burgeoning in the UK. The increased impetus to investigational, as opposed to observational research, had stemmed from the war and its attendant medical problems which included dysentry, wound sepsis, tetanus, gas gangrene, influenza, pneumonia, nephritis and trench fever. Such investigators as Fleming, Almroth Wright, Arkwright, McNee, McIntosh, Kettle, Gye, Mervyn Gordon, F.W. Andrewes, Colebrook and Fildes himself, were responsible for a quantum leap in our understanding of the causes, spread, prevention and treatment of these microbiologically transmitted diseases but there was a frustrating lack of a suitable British journal in which conventional papers describing experimental findings could be published. Fildes and his three co-sponsors of the new journal, approached about 25 senior and influential pathologists for support and for assistance with editing such a journal if it could be launched. Not everyone was in favour ofthe idea and five senior pathologists declined to support the venture because, in their opinion, a new journal was neither wanted nor needed. The majority, however, were supportive and agreed to act as guarantors for the Journal. Thus, in November I9 I 9, the first manuscripts were sent to the printers and in February I920, exactly 70 years ago, the first issue of The British Journal i
Editorial of Experimental Pathology was published. duate there from I949 to 1953. Perhaps the Thereafter, six numbers were published each most famous manuscript published in the year at an annual cost to subscribers of early years of the Journal is the original I929 L2.00. It is interesting, in these present times paper by Alexander Fleming, 'On the Antiof regular annual inflation, that for 2 5 years bacterial Action of Cultures of a Penicillium, until after the Second World War, not only with Special Reference to their Use in the did the cover, format, typeface, objectives Isolation of B. influenzae'. This was indeed a and scope of the Journal remain unchanged milestone in medical history and we still but so also did the price! benefit from its sequalae today. For some In addition to the four original founder years, Fleming had been actively studying members, the names of editors and sup- natural defence mechanisms and how tissues porters appearing on the cover of the first resist infection. In 1922 he and Allison, his issue include E.L. Kennaway, W.M. Bayliss, research student at St Mary's Hospital, had A.E. Wright, H.H. Dale, C.M. Wilson (later published in the Journal 'Observations on a Lord Moran), C.S. Sherrington and F.G. Bacteriolytic Substance "Lysozyme" found Hopkins and within a few years they in Secretions and Tissues' in which they were joined by, among others, E.C. Dodds, described the properties and activity of lysoJ.C. Drummond, C.L. Evans, H.W. Florey and zyme and noted it to be present in greatest J.C.G. Ledingham. This roll-call of eminent concentration in secretions covering those scientists, which includes not only patholo- sites which are most exposed to infectious gists and microbiologists but also some of the organisms, such as tears which protect the most distinguished physiologists and bio- conjunctiva, and mucus and sputum which chemists of the century, emphasizes the protect the nasal passages and lungs. The essentially multidisciplinary nature of 1929 'discovery' of penicillin was thus no experimental pathology and the dependence mere accident but was the recognition by an of medical practice on fundamental scientific experienced investigator of the potential research. In addition to making major con- value of a new source of material which tributions to scientific knowledge through might enhance the body's natural ability to their research, many of these men were destroy infecting organisms. outstanding teachers; their students were The British Journal of Experimental Pathoand are to be found staffing the Universities, logy published many of the important early Hospitals, Medical Schools and Research papers on the causes of influenza. The disasInstitutes not only in England but through- trous pandemic in I 9 I 8 to I 920 killed more out the world. Collectively they have had a people than had the recent war and much seminal influence on the development of research was directed towards understandmodern medical practice as we know it ing the nature of the infection and how to today. The British Journal of Experimental control it. Until then, it had been generally Pathology played an important role in this accepted that the bacterium B. influenzae, chapter of medical history not only by pro- discovered by Pfeiffer in I 892, was the cause viding an outlet for their own publications of the disease. In the first volume of the but also the means whereby they could Journal in 1920, Maitland, Cowan and influence the quality and standards of other Detweiller published an article entitled 'The investigators' work which was submitted for Aetiology of Epidemic Influenza: Experipublication. ments in Search of a Filter-Passing Virus' in The author of the first paper of the first which they reported experiments which led issue was W.M. Bayliss, from the Physiology them to the conclusion that epidemic Institute at University College London; by influenza was caused by primary infection, coincidence he later taught the present edi- not with a bacterium, but with a filtertor of the Journal while she was an undergrapassing virus. They were able to infect * s
Editorial guinea-pigs with filtrates from infected patients but were unable to obtain cultures of the infective organism. That had to wait another 15 years, until I935 when Wilson Smith managed for the first time to grow the virus in chick chorio-allantoic membrane. Much of the original work by Smith and his colleagues on immunization against influenza was also published in this Journal, for example in 1 93 5, 'Influenza: Experiments on the immunisation of ferrets and mice'. The I920S and 1930S were exciting times for microbiologists. Other notable 'firsts' published in the Journal include the standardization (Okell & Parish 1927) and purification (Gough I934) of tuberculin, early work on the psittacosis virus (Bedson & Western 1930; Bedson I932) and immunological differentiation between strains of poliomyelitis virus (Burnet & Macnamara I931). Other fields also were well represented in the early days of the Journal including publication of the original experiments of Hans Selye (Selye 1936) which led to his 'Flight or Fight' hypothesis of adrenal function. The first accurate account of the distribution of iron in blood was also published in this Journal by Jenkins and Thomson in I 9 3 7, based on the colorimetric analytical method which they developed. The Editors of the Journal have continued in the spirit of its founders to publish important and original research in experimental pathology, and the diversity of disciplines covered has expanded to include all new advances in biomedical science and technology as they relate to the subject. The original aims of the Journal as set out in 1920, which were the 'publication of original communications describing the techniques and results of experimental research into the causation, diagnosis and cure of disease in man', still hold; and experimental pathology still encompasses the use of multidisciplinary scientific techniques. In 1920 these were listed as 'bacteriological,
biochemical, pharmacological, physiological, serological and other subjects'; the present extensions of these disciplines and the com-
plexity and power of the techniques now available would have amazed and excited the original founders of the Journal. As a service to our readers we have recently started to publish a series of Current Status Reviews, by invited authors, to describe major advances in specialized fields for researchers working in other complementary disciplines. We believed this to be an innovation for this Journal but it is a case of
Plus Ca change, plus c'est la meme chose; the
editorial in the very first issue states, 'It is the intention of the Editors to publish occasional 'critical reviews' upon pathological subjects which may at the time be in need of critical survey. Such reviews may be of value to workers who are not in touch immediately with considered opinions upon the question discussed'. Indeed, one such review appeared in the first issue, namely 'The Aetiology of Influenza' by Paul Fildes and James McIntosh, in which there is a beautifully argued application of Koch's postulates to the hypothesis of a viral aetiology for influenza. Thereafter, however, no more reviews appear to have been published, certainly not in the first
I0 years of the Journal's history. The new Current Status Reviews will now rectify the situation and will implement Fildes' original intentions, albeit rather later than he may have anticipated.
This Journal is unusual in that it is not owned either by a learned society or by its publishers, but instead by a Limited Company; its direction is entrusted to a Governing Council composed largely of practising pathologists. Although scientifically the
Journal was an immediate success-in its second year the Editors were able to publish a statement saying 'If we may judge by the volume of material which is submitted for publication, the Journal is fulfilling a want that has not been satisfied hitherto.'-nevertheless, the pathologists who supported the formation of the Journal also had to act as its guarantors. Between I920 and I923 publication costs proved higher than anticipated and they had to dip into their pockets from time to time just to keep the Journal afloat. By
Editorial iv I924, however, the finances were balanced BEDSON S.P. (I932) The nature of the elementary bodies in Psittacosis. ibid. I 3, 65-72. and since then the Journal has been selfsupporting. It was converted into a Limited Company in I939. For the last 6 years the Journal has made a modest profit which is now used by the Council to support for 2 to 3 years at a time, a Research Fellow, usually medically qualified, to conduct original research in experimental pathology. The present Governing Council and Editors believe the future of the Journal will be as exciting and illustrious as it has been in the past; as one of the foremost Journals in the field it will continue to lead and inform scientific medical thinking and practice. We also believe that the decision to change the title to Journal ofExperimental Pathology, thus acknowledging the contributions it makes to and receives from researchers throughout the world, would have met with approval from the pioneering and innovative founders of the original British Journal of Experimental Pathology. R.Marian Hicks Editor
References BAYLISS W.M. (1920) Is haemolysed blood toxic? British Journal of Experimental Pathology. i, i-8.
BEDSON S.P. & WESTERN, G.T. (I930) Observations on the virus of Psittacosis. ibid. i i, 502-5 I.I BURNET F.M. & MACNAMARA J. (I 93 I) Immunological differences between strains of Poliomyelitis virus. ibid. 12, 57-6I. FILDES P. & MCINTOSH J. (I92o) Critical Review: The Aetiology of Influenza. ibid. I, I I 9-I 26. FLEMING A. (I929) On the antibacterial action of cultures of a Penicillium, with special reference to their use in the isolation of B. influenzae. ibid. 10, 226-236. FLEMING A. & ALLISON V.D. (1922) Observations on a bacteriolytic substance ("Lysozyme") found in secretions and tissues. ibid. 3, 252-260. GOUGH G.A.C. (I934) The purification of tuberculin. ibid. 15, 237-242. JENKINS C.E. & THOMSON M.L. (I 937) The distribution of iron in blood. ibid. i8, I75-I90. MAITLAND H.B., COWAN M.L. & DETWEILER H.K. (I920) ibid. I, 263-28i. OKELL C.C. & PARISH H.J. (I927) The standardization of Tuberculin. ibid. 8, I 70-I 75. SELYE H. (I936) Thymus and adrenals in the response of an organism to injuries and intoxications. ibid. 17, 234-248. SMITH W. (1935) Cultivation of the virus of Influenza. ibid. i6, 508-5I2. SMITH W., ANDREWES C.H. & LAIDLAW P.P. (I 935) Influenza: Experiments on the immunization of ferrets and mice. ibid. i6, 29I-302.