Fifty Years of Circulation Research
An Anniversary Editorial
It is our distinct pleasure to announce that Circulation Research celebrates her 50th anniversary this year, 2003, as the leading publication dedicated to basic cardiovascular research. The history of the journal has been summarized recently.1 Since its inception, Circulation Research has sought to publish the highest-quality research, containing innovative experimental advances and yielding mechanistic insights. The past 50 years can be classified by one, all-encompassing word—change. One need read no further than the Table of Contents in this issue, the first of 2003, to marvel at the breadth and depth of changes in concepts and technology. Authors and reviewers have seen manuscripts advance from handwritten pages sent by post to digital files transmitted via the internet. The changes could not be more vast, and still this journal remains the tried-and-true mode of disseminating vital information to colleagues and contributors.
The Editors have considered how best to celebrate this important anniversary. One possibility would have entailed resurrecting landmark studies and discoveries reported in Circulation Research that have left an indelible mark on science, driving the field into new avenues of exploration. However, we believe that, while recapitulation of previously published work can be useful, it often falls short of linking the past with the future of cardiovascular science. We thus initiate this anniversary celebration with a look at the charter editorial published in the first issue of Circulation Research by her inaugural Editor, Carl J. Wiggers, which follows in its original appearance.2 Wiggers’ message is clear. Science should neither simply summarize nor theorize. Science must be driven by novel mechanistic information and fundamental insights. This message has not changed in the past 50 years, and therein lies the longevity of Circulation Research.
Throughout this anniversary year, we will publish personal reflections by renowned cardiovascular researchers who will help us to commemorate the last 50 years of Circulation Research and look to the next 50 years. The first such personal reflection appears elsewhere in this issue.3 We begin our 50th anniversary issue, however, with a glimpse into the mind of the first Editor in Chief as he enunciated guiding principles for a fledgling journal of the American Heart Association. It is in looking to our past that we find the directions to our future.