Conway Review Lecture 1982
13/09/1982 in Dublin
Some Aspects of the Molecular Pathology of Thrombosis and Haemorrhage
Patrick J. Gaffney, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, Holly Hill, Hampstead, London NW3 6RB, U.K.
Since the institution of these annual lectures to the. memory of Professor E. J. Conway, FRS, some individual lecturers so honoured have had the privilege of working in Ireland at a time when the late E. J. Conway influenced greatly the scientific scene in Ireland. I recall my attendance at a meeting of the Academy where Professor Conway made a brief appearance shortly before his death. The respect and admiration for the man amongst those present was immense and was merely a reflection of what Professor Conway meant to Irish science and medicine. For myself, I have worked abroad (mostly in the U.K.) for most of my scientific career during a time period and in a subject which did not overlap with that of Professor Conway. Despite this fact, the times are numerous when colleagues have asked “did you study under Professor Conway ? – this question has been asked in various parts of Europe, the U.S. and Australia. His fame reached out to all the world through his work on transport in the kidney (Conway et al, 1937 (Conway et al, 1946) and the development of immunodiffusion techniques (Conway, 1957). The true scientific philosopher was expressed in his paper which deals with oceanic evolutionary notions (Conway, 1943). He lacked narrow and exclusive thinking (which thinking, unfortunately, can bedevil even the most distinguished intellects) in that his studies of the physical aspects of biology did not exclude the acceptance of a spiritual dimension.
Indeed, it would seem that his investigations of how some of nature’s most elegant systems work acted as a stimulus to his acceptance of a spiritual element in man and his environment. It is here I feel a special kinship with the man in whose honour I am privileged to present this lecture.