ISE President’s Letter

Dear ISE members

International Harmony

One of the many things that I enjoy about both academic life and living in London is the great opportunity to meet with people from so many different backgrounds. The enjoyment that so many of us take from this, not least in helping us understand where other people are ‘coming from’ is in stark contrast to the terrible events of July 7th here in London, coming so soon after the elation of us Londoners in getting the 2012 Olympics. Michael Heinrich’s college was very close to two of the bombs but thankfully no one in either of our groups was harmed or badly affected. Although the whole events were horrifying, we should never forget that probably twice as many children in Africa die of malaria each hour as were killed that day in London – it is so easy to be centred on our own ‘little’ problems. One of the long-term results of ethnopharmacology is to help combat these ‘neglected’ diseases with readily available materials. I am not decrying those of you who work in other branches of ethnopharmacology but pointing out that we are not ‘ivory tower’ people! Let’s hope that our common interest in our subject leads to better harmony and the breaking down of prejudices amongst us.

A warm welcome in China

Cristina and I were impressed by many things we saw and experienced in China. There is no doubt that our Chinese hosts are making every effort to ensure that the meeting is a success and I hope that many will mark the end of August next year in your diaries for coming along. They told us that they were expecting 400 local delegates and at least 200 from overseas. There is a very impressive medicinal plant garden near Nanning, an impressive College of Traditional medicine, lots of lychee fruits that grow in the area and perhaps, like me(!) you may even have the opportunity to get ‘married’ to a local girl whilst having lunch in one of the restaurants! Those of us from colder regions of the world should note that Nanning is in the tropics so don’t bother to bring your heavy coats!

Prof. Dr. Peter Houghton
ISE President