The History of EASD

On 21 April 1965, the first General Assembly of the EASD was held with Dr. A.E. Renold and 220 participants in Montecatini, Italy. Dr. Hoet presided as Chairman of the Steering Committee, the decision to form the Association having been taken in Italy of the preceeding year at the IDF Congress in Toronto. Dr. Renold presented the Statutes, which are virtually unchanged today, and they were unanimously adopted. The establishment of the journal was announced with Dr. K. Oberdisse (who attended the Düsseldorf Meeting last year) as the first Editor-in-Chief. The cost of the journal to a member was to be GBP 3.11 with Annual Subscriptions to the EASD of SFr 6.00. Five Honorary Members were elected: Prof. Charles H. Best, Sir Henry Dale, Dr. Robin D. Lawrence, Prof. Bernardo A. Houssay and Dr. H.C. Hagedorn. Dr. Renold also announced the creation of the Minkowski Lectureship, Dr. Hoet was elected President and the newly elected Council included Drs. A.E. Renold, J.G. Alivisatos, R. Luft, K. Lundbaek, E.F. Pfeiffer and F.G. Young - a roll of honours of European Diabetes.

The first Annual Meeting took place at the same time with papers in French, German and English - it was not until 1970-1971 that English was adopted as the single language. The list of authors of these first presentations makes interesting reading - including E.F. Pfeiffer, W.J.H. Butterfield, J.P. Felber, W. Malaisse, L.G. Heding, R. Korec, P.H. Sönksen, E.R. Froesch, J. Pirart, W. Creutzfeldt, A. Czyzyk, Z. Skrabalo, R. Oesterby and the evergreen H. Keen. Apart from a refreshing lack of molecular genetics the titles of many of the papers would not look out of place today. The abstracts are also notable in often being shorter than currently and containing fewer numbers and p-values. They are certainly easier to read. There were only 48 papers - what a delight for the Abstract Committee who democratically accepted everything - compared with more than 2000 at our present meetings.

Obviously the Association has grown enormously since that time with more than 8000 members, a monthly journal with a high and rising impact factor, and a vast Annual Meeting. None the less the atmosphere remains similar; and the principles of friendliness and trans European collaboration laid down by our founding fathers are still adhered to today. The Annual Meeting remains the highlight of the European diabetes calendar.