British Microcirculation Society

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British Microcirculation Society

The British Microcirculation Society was founded in July 1963 "to advance the study of circulation of the blood and other tissue fluids especially, though not exclusively, in the small vessels and of matters relating thereto". The membership of more than 250 is drawn largely from the medical sciences - anatomy, biophysics, pathology, pharmacology, physiology and clinical medicine and surgery - but the pharmaceutical industry and the veterinary and physical sciences and mathematics are also represented. The UK had lagged behind others in seeing the value of a specialist society for microcirculation (the Americans had already established the Microcirculatory Society in 1954 and the First European Conference on Microcirculation had been held in Hamburg in 1960).  There were, however, a number of scientists in the UK interested in the microcirculation, among whom was PAG (Xander) Monro, a Cambridge anatomist who was an excellent microscopist and developed  a technique for  measuring the velocity of red blood cells in the microcirculation.  Xander was on the Committee of the European Society for Microcirculation and was asked to organise a meeting to be held in Cambridge in 1966.  He required a supporting structure to organise the Conference and conceived the idea of establishing a sister Society in Britain. Following a letter he wrote to those he knew were interested in the subject, he organised the first meeting of the nascent British Microcirculation Society in 1963.  He was elected its Secretary and subsequently held this responsibility for almost 20 years. The Society’s first 21 years are described in the book he wrote for distribution to delegates attending  the World Congress on Microcirculation held in Oxford in 1984 (Monro,1984) which is available as a pdf. This archive documents a number of aspects of this history and brings it up to date and anyone interested in deeper study will find the full Archive of the Society in the Modern Medical Archives of the Wellcome Library.

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