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FoWoCo, Rijstafel, and FiWoCo
  1. I B Pless, Editor

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    I dislike acronyms, especially those I don't immediately understand. For a long while I thought the abbreviation for the Melbourne meeting had something to do with a character from Star Wars. Now that I am much older and much smarter, I am pleased to report that it only took me a few months to decipher FoWoCo.

    For those who were not able to attend FoWoCo—the Fourth World Conference in Amsterdam—this is a brief report to make you sorry you missed it. The meeting was blessed by wonderful weather, a great city, and good attendance. Amsterdam itself was a treat for those who had the time to discover its many treasures, artistic and otherwise. Even for the rest of us—the hard working, excessively conscientious types—it was still rewarding. The chance to meet old friends and make new ones is precious and I feel certain most of those who attended felt, as I did, that this was as important as the scientific program, perhaps even more so.

    The executive of ISCAIP met over a very spicy meal, and, amazingly, in spite of jet lag, managed to make several seemingly rational decisions. The most important of these from the viewpoint of journal readers is the decision to recommend separating the journal subscription process from that of ISCAIP membership (details are given in the ISCAIP column). The reasons behind this are somewhat complex, but it seemed apparent that it would be best for both parties. So, in future, when your membership is due for renewal you will receive a separate, smaller bill for the Society dues alone. ISCAIP members in good standing will continue to receive the same discount to the journal as they have in the past. As for Injury Prevention, the good news is that despite somewhat slow growth in the number of subscribers, our publishers remain fully supportive. The journal is highly regarded by those who are familiar with it, but it is evident that there are far too many individuals—and especially too many institutions—that are still not aware of its existence. I urge all readers to do what they can to ensure that their library subscribes. Unless we are quickly able to recruit several hundred more subscribers we may be forced to consider other options to ensure our survival. The most likely of these options is to include material related to injury prevention in adults. Many of our readers and many members of the editorial board would like us to move in this direction immediately, but a majority prefer to wait. I invite readers who were not in Amsterdam to write to me with their views on this important issue.

    What about Rijstafel? The idea is to move from the least hot of four dishes to the most spicy, thereby, presumably, developing tolerance as you go along. When I first tried this marvellous meal over 30 years ago it did not seem particularly daunting. At FoWoCo I barely made it past the first dish! As a scientist I can only conclude that either I am getting older or the spices are much stronger. I prefer the latter explanation but fear the truth is closer to the former. The question now is: What are we to expect from FiWoCo, the meeting to be held in New Delhi? Even if it promises to be equally spicy, I nevertheless urge you to begin now to make plans to attend.