Arguing that continuity is necessary for progress, Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana famously said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” [1]. Practitioners of endocrinology and other branches of science and medicine may be at less risk for actually repeating past events, but remain at risk of repeating common intellectual errors such as failing to distinguish anecdote from evidence, or mistaking simultaneity for causality. Busy pediatric endocrinologists rarely have time to contemplate the origins of our specialty, or how those origins may illuminate the present (or future). To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Pediatric Endocrine Society (formerly the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society), this special issue of Hormone Research in Paediatrics presents a series of papers describing the history of our principal sub-specialty areas; these manuscripts have been solicited by, reviewed, and edited by the three Guest Editors listed below. Beyond merely listing past events, these essays trace the development of our understanding of the biology and physiology of human endocrinology, and how this has informed contemporary diagnoses and treatments of children with pediatric endocrine disorders. As we are commemorating the history of a North American society, the essays emphasize North American contributions; and contributions from pediatric endocrinologists are highlighted by citing their names in boldface type. As guest editors of this special issue, we are delighted to help celebrate our golden anniversary with the enthusiastic support of the authors and the PES Board of Directors. We especially thank the Editor-in-Chief of Hormone Research in Paediatrics, Stefano Cianfarani, and our publisher, Karger, for their enthusiasm and support for this project.

Sharon E. Oberfield, MD, Immediate Past President, PES

Alan D. Rogol, MD, PhD, Chair, PES History Committee

Walter L. Miller, MD, HRP Assoc. Editor for History

All authors have no conflicts of interest to declare

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) The Life of Reason: Introduction and Reason in Common Sense. page 172.
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