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CIA - Collegium Internationionale Allergologicum
Collegium Internationale Allergologicum
 

Light Minutes of the 11th Symposium held a Heidelberg Castle from Monday May 10th to Wednesday May 12, 1976

GEOFFREY B. WEST

In temperatures above 30EC we met in Haus Buhl for the reception by the university on Sunday evening, May 9th. The Rector welcomed us and we welcomed all our colleagues. A great start!

On Monday, after the opening remarks by our host, Dr. Rother (which included a reference to a song AI left my heart in Heidelberg" to which he added another line starting "did I leave behind my MS in Heidelberg for publishing?"), we were presented by a masterful 3rd Carl Prausnitz Memorial Lecturer by Manfeld Mayer on Complement - which earned him a life membership. Later that day - under the heading of "Complexes and Complement" - we heard about (and I quote):

  1. Complement is like part of an internal combustion engine;
  2. Complement is just one of the interesting problems nature has given to us;
  3. The point of halftime in the game of complexes has now been reached;
  4. One author finished his text by saying - I respectfully suggest that I used reasonably respectable concentrations of X; and
  5. Macrophages recognise complement by its shape and so activate it.

We all had lunch at the castle restaurant that day and the evening was free. Although the temperature was still high, the food and wine in the students’ quarters were still very enjoyable.

On Tuesday, we passed to Hageman factor and platelets, with some experimental pharmacological work involved in immunology. The weather had by now moved from 30EC to a cool downpour and many arrived late for the meeting. Mast cells were talked about in relation to histamine release and of course prostaglandins came in somewhere. Sayings of the morning included:

  1. My slide looks like Manhattan from the air;
  2. Control values were not significantly different from zero; and
  3. When asked about an experiment, the author said he didn’t feel like doing that one.

That day (Tuesday) lunch was taken aboard the ship on the Neckar river - in fact, it was a very extended lunch. The weather was mixed too, but we battled on and on - and then by coach to Guttenberg Castle where a display of falcon training was demonstrated. The baron of the castle then showed us his valuables - most interesting - and we were ushered into a medieval knightly meal by the local band. We did look a funny lot, with coloured bibs around our necks.

Our new life member was dressed up and had to prepare himself for a duel - to catch an apple which he did with ease - music, song and dance occupied the evening while we ate and wined. A great time was had by all.

On Wednesday, it was cooler and we heard about leukocyte infiltration from Till, Gleisel, Austen, and Lichtenstein, before coffee. Eosinophilia was much in evidence. Then Bob Orange went to work with SRS-A. Sayings of the morning were:

  1. My results look a bit lousy but they’re OK.;
  2. Something is phenomenonologically correct; and
  3. Another reference to reasonably respectable concentrations of antagonist.

In the afternoon, Frank gave us a glimpse of his inward thoughts on pathophysiology and we ended on a clinical note, with reference particularly to newer approaches.

The coaches were waiting to take us to Ludwigshafen where the BASF Chemical works had organised a first-class evening meal. Fruit cocktail, followed by rump steak and accessories, and a lemon cream dish - all very delightful. The white and red wines flowed and they kept telling us that wine is good for human fertility. After words of welcome and then of thanks, the new CIA members were presented with their certificates and their wives were asked to say a few words. It was all informal and entertaining - especially our Brazilian lady who swore she was not married to a new member though he said she was. Felix Milgrom reminisced, others spoke in rhyme or in verse - or just in story, and we finished with a part-song called "Three Blind Mice". We were all home by about 11 p.m. and our thanks go to the organising committee and particularly to the local committee of

  • Dr. Giertz,
  • Dr. Rother,
  • Dr. Schöpf and
  • Dr. Till for a wonderful three days in Heidelberg.

Now I’ve forgotten to record the ladies programme, for they went sightseeing on Monday and had a guided tour of Speyer and Worms on Thursday.

True to form, they did not go alone for one of the opposite sex accompanied them. In fact, it was he who found the guide’s dress had a button undone and went to her aid, saying (instead of "Can I help you do it up") that he could help her undo more. This chivalrous young man came from - guess where - Brazil.




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