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Keywords:

  • development;
  • glaucoma;
  • management;
  • perimetry;
  • research;
  • tonometry

Abstract.

This is the lecture that I gave when I was awarded Acta Ophthalmologica’s gold medal and honorary award at the Nordic Ophthalmological Congress in Reykjavik in August 2010.

I was inspired by Jared Diamond’s famous book: Guns, Germs, and Steel, The Fates of Human Societies. Diamond is professor of geography and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. In this book, which won the Pulitzer Prize, the author explains why the European civilization took over the world. This was all because of predetermined factors of biological nature, environmental differences that were strengthened by feedback loops, and resulted in technological innovation and superiority.

In this presentation, I write about the development of glaucoma knowledge and management. I suggest that the development might have been predetermined, just waiting for more facts to be unveiled by research. The technologies tonometry and perimetry have been fundamental as has epidemiological techniques and controlled trials.

The new and increased knowledge about glaucoma must now be translated to improvements of clinical glaucoma care. The glaucoma scientists of today and tomorrow will continue to reveal as yet unknown facts, maybe in a predetermined way, but nevertheless of benefit to all patients with glaucoma.