TRAUMA research has two purposes—reduction in death and disability in the civilian population and increased effectiveness for our military forces. Largely financed by tax monies through the National Institutes of Health and the Armed Services Research and Development Commands, a large segment of trauma research is conducted in surgical units by bioscientists, bioengineers, and clinical surgeons. What should be the shape of the future for this research?
The literature of an age has rarely proved to be a guide to its future. America's first textbook of surgery, that by Jones of New York, was written in 1775 for the Continental Army soon to be mustered under the Cambridge Elm. Although it turned out to be a remarkable predictor of political events, the text is more interesting for its omissions than for its inclusions in clinical surgery. There is little mention of unrelieved pain, hemorrhage, or infection.
Then, 150 years later,