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As a research scientist I spend much of my time studying the normal physiology of the retinal blood vessels in experimental animals, and their perturbations in models of human disease. As an ophthalmic clinician, I apply knowledge of pharmacological effects and surgical techniques gained from animal studies to the treatment of human patients. As a patient myself, with a more than 34-year history of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, I am grateful to those distinguished scientists of the past—von Mehring and Minkowski, Banting and Best—without whose investigations of the physiology of the pancreas and the actions of insulin, all performed on dogs, I would have died in adolescence.
We live in an era of passionate advocacy of causes. Within the past 30 years such advocacy, championed by articulate and highly visible groups of people, has transformed our society with regard to the civil rights of individuals of racial and ethnic minority groups,