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In My Own Words

The Quotations of David F Williams

In general we cannot regenerate or replace those parts of our bodies that have fallen asunder. Whereas a newt or salamander can re-grow limbs at will, our own pathetic attempts usually end with functionally useless scars. Of course, we would all rather have the brain of a human than that of a newt, and our evolutionary pathway determined that we were better off with good brains than regeneration. But the question arises: if we are now so smart, then why can’t we engineer nature to equip ourselves, now and then, with the regenerative power of a newt.

The rock face that separates the alluvial plain of ordinariness from the peaks of achievement is sheer.

Our conclusions are inherently biased by the nature of our experimental work and our hypotheses, where we instinctively look for evidence to support, at best, our honestly determined but incorrect ideas and, at worst, our strong and not-to-be undermined prejudices. It is good to get out of your own comfort zone, maybe your own laboratory, your own mind for a while; get out of your own bioreactor, get out of your scaffold, get out of your rats, and reconsider the totality of the evidence.

Data; a simple word but a complex meaning. Most of us don’t know if data is singular or pleural. I have to tell you, however, that data is not the pleural of anecdote.

In Cape Town I stand next to a black man
Both of us, two hundred pounds, six feet tall
His pigmented skin weighs a few pounds
As does my whitish skin
Just one per cent of each of us
The rest of ourselves are the same
So when Black Lives Matter everywhere in the world
Let us bless the ninety-nine per cent
And see right through the covering

Twelve years after cardiologists and cardiac surgeons from all over the world issued the Drakensberg Declaration, we are mindful that rheumatic heart disease (RHD) still accounts for a major proportion of all cardiovascular diseases in children and young adults in low- and middle income countries, where more than 80% of the world population live. We are cognizant that the only effective treatment for symptomatic RHD is open heart surgery. We are equally aware that life-saving cardiac surgery is woefully absent in many endemic regions. As the delegates of the Cape Town 'Dialogue', we propose framework structures that are aimed at creating a coordinated, transparent global alliance empowered to address this inequality, as a matter of urgency. This Cape Town Declaration incorporates a global concept that is directed to local activity.

- David F  Williams