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Five decades of the international neuropsychiatric Pula congresses (1961-2010)

Boško Barac

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 826 Kb

str. 1-21

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The International Neuropsychiatric Pula Symposia, now Congresses, have passed their five decades. The author participated
at first as participant (in 1966), later as a help to the founder of the meetings, Professor Lopašić, as a Head of the “Yugoslav
regional office” (from 1970), as a Kuratorium member (from 1974), as a Croatian Secretary General (1985-2007), collaborating
with the Austrian Secretaries General: Gerald Grinschgl (1970-1985) and Helmut Lechner (1985-2005). Recollecting his
memories on the development of the Symposia, the deserving Kuratorium members, speakers, personalities of the Austrian
and Croatian public life, he tries to define the specific goals and the achievements of the meetings.
Originating from a small gathering in 1961 with hardly 60 neuropsychiatries from the Graz and Zagreb University departments,
the meetings have been continuously evolving into a respectable international Congress greatly surpassing the
significance of the two disciplines: neurology and psychiatry and the regional borders of Austria and the then Yugoslavia,
the Central and South-East European countries. Inaugurated in the times of the “cold war”, overcoming many difficulties
and obstacles, they have reached important scientific, professional and humanistic achievements, enabling contacts between
the then divided parts of Europe, fostering ideas of mutual understanding and collaboration, especially in the region.
The “Pula school of science and humanism” promoted interdisciplinary collaboration between neurology, psychiatry and
the collaborating disciplines, fostering scientific and professional advances in medical sciences; behavioral neurology enabled
collaboration between the two disciplines investigating the human brain and its emanation: human mind. New notions
made possible programs for restorative processes of neural functions, and the best application of neurobiological advances
in education of children and adults.
Medicine, as science and practice, although founded on biological grounds, is primarily a human activity serving the
individual man and the whole human race. Modem neurology and psychiatry are no longer restricted only to diagnosing
and curing brain diseases and psychic dysfunctions, but have become science of human mind and discipline caring about
the brain, organ of the individual and collective human consciousness and his mental life. Neurosciences have reached the
border of understanding relations of the individual brain functions and the human collective mental life. Human beings
must be aware of these important events, which may prepare humanity living in the coming centuries preserving the life on
Earth. The controversies that arose between new technical advances and our abilities to govern them have reached the point
of threatening this divine being – the Human – and the Earth where he lives.
The modern science should help the humans to overcome these difficulties and the increasing threats to our civilization.
The Pula Congresses fulfilled important scientific, medical, social and humanistic functions, both in the times of the “cold
war” and more recently during global problems of various kinds.
The atmosphere in the meetings contributed to the positive developments to the fall of the totalitarian, narrow-minded
political, ideological or nationalistic thinking, aiming towards tolerance and democratic development in the united Europe
and the preparation for the peaceful living of people of various nations, races, religions and viewpoints in the 21st century.

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