The Clonal Selection Theory and the Field

As already mentioned, the Cold Spring Harbor Symposium of 1967 was a marker for the point at which immunologists accepted the clonal selection theory. It also marked the point at which the volume of immunology research began to expand enormously. As Moulin has pointed out, the conception of the immune apparatus as a system began to appear soon after 1967. A system implied a unified body of knowledge as well as a complex mechanism with interacting parts. Significantly, it also provided a means of formulating problems in a way that attracted grants to solve them. It provided a framework for experiment, if not a guarantee of experimental success (Moulin 1989). With the acceptance of the clonal selection theory as a basis for research programs, the sudden expansion of immunology as a research field gave birth to a large number of specialist research journals. Between 1970 and the date of writing in 1988, 47 new immunological journals came into being.

As part of the same surge of growth, immunologists began to create a formal international organization for themselves. Conferences on particular problems, such as the one on tolerance in London in 1957, the Antibody Workshop, which met irregularly between 1958 and 1965, and the Cold Spring Harbor Symposium of 1967, had always been of great importance to the workers in this very international field (Porter 1986). But from 1968, with the formation of the International Union of Immunological Societies, the connections became structured and permanent. The First International Congress of Immunology was held in Washington, D.C., in 1971. One of the goals of the International Union was to demonstrate the range and power of the new immunology, as well as its applicability in medicine and industry, so as to promote the creation of independent departments of immunology in universities and medical schools (as opposed to research institutes) and to encourage the expansion and funding of teach ing programs (Cinader 1975). The first congress in 1971 attracted about 4,000 participants, the sixth, held in Toronto in 1986, about 12,000. An expansion was clearly taking place.

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Pregnancy And Childbirth

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