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Presenting at the Centuries Old
Royal Society

SriniVas Sadda, MD

President & Chief Scientific Officer

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Today, vision science researchers are deeply committed to investing in and applying the very latest in technology as we conduct our research and care for patients. We consider our interests, or even our obsessions, with technology to be very contemporary. The fact is, for scientists of all stripes, focus on innovation is an inheritance. I had a chance to fully appreciate that legacy last month when I was invited to address the Royal Society, a UK organization that’s been convening and promoting the work of scientists since 1660.

The Royal Society bills its story as the story of modern science, and what I like about that framing is the honest connection it makes among generations of thinkers dating back to the Society’s beginnings and its official, mission-driven name, “The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge.” We are still doing the same work, when it comes right down to it.

Since its founding, this independent body hosted talks and published papers by Sirs Christopher Wren, Isaac Newton, and Charles Darwin, explorer James Cook, and the eminent mathematician, engineer and philosopher Charles Babbage. The Society’s motto translates as: “Take nobody’s word for it.” In other words, inquiry and proof have remained the foundational scientific ideals, as applied to every theory and treatment we meticulously test today.

What a great honor to present the work of Dohney Eye Institute doctors and our colleagues in ophthalmology from around the globe in confronting the centuries old scourge of low vision and blindness. I spoke about the transformative potential of data and imaging for eye care, touching on the promises of big data and artificial intelligence. In preparing and delivering these remarks, I had occasion to pause and ponder the reality that the impairments we work to cure today have been long known and puzzled over. The preciousness of human sight, treasured over the millennia, has prompted significant scientific discovery and many treatments and cures. Our contributions today extend that work and knowledge, with the accelerating force of technology.

Speaking to the fellows (of course, many of them women), I enjoyed a renewed sense of our freedom and purpose in the pursuit of natural knowledge. Now as always, our supporters make this work possible, and make advances probable.

Thank you for your vital interest in our work.

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