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On-line version ISSN 1806-4841
An. Bras. Dermatol. vol.78 no.6 Rio de Janeiro Nov./Dec. 2003
Science, education and health: a strategy for development with social justice
We all witness, on a daily basis, how distant seems the implementation of a development strategy that corrects the immense social injustice. Certainly it is unthinkable to imagine in a concrete way that this goal could be achieved without a solid investment in science, education and health. It would be tiresome and repetitive to enumerate the advantages of such a policy and to point to our countless defects as a Country that is struggling to emerge from the abyss of underdevelopment. Nevertheless, "it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness". To light a candle can have several connotations, in accordance with the individual and/or collective reality that implies a great width of action and also responsibility, which happily we fulfill while practicing our specialty.
When we are faced with the immense complexity that permeates our patients, justifying the expression "it is the patient that exists and not the disease", and the few concrete answers for the solution of their problems, we may feel like somebody trying to perform a dermatological exam in the dark. Thus, we could affirm that the acquisition of knowledge regarding the etiological and pathogenic mechanisms, and consequently the curative therapeutic measures, is the light that will illuminate our paths. Science can be seen as a candle in the darkness, as Carl Sagan wished, since to quote Albert Einstein, "all our science, compared with the reality, is primitive and infantile - and, yet, it is the most precious thing that we have". In the present world, where we still live with so much ignorance and irrationality, and where pseudoscientific explanations, elves, ETs and charlatans seem to dominate the powerful means of communication, any effort in favor of the truth, when publishing scientific knowledge, is to illuminate our hearts and minds.
Without a doubt, the Brazilian Annals of Dermatology is contributing its part when investing in science, education and health. The publication of investigative works, communications, clinical cases and revision articles, emphasizes the importance of producing science in our specialty and achieving continuous medical education with a solid foundation, of unquestionable quality, as exemplified by the gamut of publications in this last edition of 2003.
Finally, we would like to thank our collaborators and to remind all to seek verify the changes in the norms of publication of articles in the Annals, with a view to improving still further the quality of our journal.
Roberto Lima Machado