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This editorial celebrates 40 years of the British Society for Cardiovascular Research (BSCR). The Society originated, as many things do, in a small informal gathering. David Hearse (working in London with Professor Sir Ernst Chain in the Department of Biochemistry at the Imperial College of Science and Technology) and Keith Gibson (working with Peter Harris at the Cardiothoracic Institute in Beaumont Street) were lamenting the lack of a forum in which to discuss current issues in basic cardiovascular research. To improve the situation, they assembled a committee with John Muir, Winifred Nayler, Mark Noble, Desmond Fitzgerald and Peter Harris, who was elected as the first Chair of the nascent Society (table 1), named at that time the Cardiac Muscle Research Group (CMRG). Encouragingly, attendance at their inaugural meeting on 12 December 1973 far exceeded expectations of ‘perhaps as many as nineteen’. Indeed, over 60 delegates enjoyed two sessions; one dealing with ‘Cardiac Action of Drugs—Adrenoceptor Agonists and Antagonists’, and the second with ‘Critical Evaluation of Biochemical Techniques as Applied to the Heart’, followed by sherry. There was a limit of two slides per discussant, a prospect that most presenters today would find quite horrifying.
For a modest annual subscription of £2, members could attend two meetings every year in autumn (usually in London) and spring (usually elsewhere in the UK). The second meeting (2 April 1974) on ‘The differences between skeletal and cardiac muscle’ took place in Birmingham, and the third (18 November 1974), which was held at Imperial College in London, addressed the evolving topic of ‘Acute myocardial ischaemia’, a theme which was to become a regular feature in future meetings. Evidently the Society filled a need, as its …