Short History of Academia

            In Europe academies have been founded since the fifteenth century. In her historical review, Antonie Luyendijk described these "early academies" as communities of congenial minds, of men devoting themselves to the pursuit of learning in an atmosphere of friendship, leisure and ease. Later on in the 17th and 18th centuries national academies were founded in order to contribute to the power of governments and to the glory of sovereign monarchs. The institution of national academies was not restricted to Europe: comparable academies were also founded in Asiatic countries like India and later on Japan.
            During the 20th century, several academies of the original type were established characterized by "a convivium of friends who came together, not for the specific interests of their discipline or profession, but for the sake of learning and erudition" and the like. A good example is the American Academy of Neurological Surgery which was founded in 1938.From its written history it is learned that "it was decided that emphasis should be placed on the social aspects of the society and that compatibility as well as scientific attainments should be considered in the selection of new members".
            We are very much indebted to Hans Werner Pia and Keiji Sano who gradually developed plans for a European-Asian Academy of Neurological Surgery. The concept was explained by Hans Pia in his letter dated May 3,1983 as follows: "Better and special contacts and communication between academic neurosurgeons of Europe and Asia, to discuss current problems of neurosurgeons standard, training, basic sciences, improving exchange between young neurosurgeons and, last but not least, to increase our influence in the World Federation and other organizations".
            At the occasion of the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons in New York ,1982 ,Hans Pia raised the question of founding a more or less comparable Academy in Europe and Asia .This was discussed among a group of German and Japanese neurosurgeons who attended the meeting (K.A. Bushe, Sh. Ishii, K. Sano and K. Schürmann).Some days later Prof. Pia did the same in Tokyo with H. Handa, Sh Ishii and K.J. Zülch.
            At the same time, H. Pia and K. Sano were considering enlarging the Academy simultaneously in Europe and Asia. Considering the problem of two different cultures, Asian and European, which could be complementary in many respects in one way or another, the comparison of concepts, their consideration and comprehension could only be enriching for both sides. They emphasized that following their conception that the new Academy would have the duty not only to undertake presentations and discussions on neurosurgical problems of diagnosis and treatment, but mainly to approach the study of human relations, of philosophical, moral and social aspects newly emerging practice of neurosurgery. However, there were other professional problems. Geographically, the Academy should extend from Western Europe to East Asia, thus including the different cultures in Eurasia with their relative influences on suffering, on human relations, and on philosophical, moral and social aspects in relation to neurosurgery.
            On May 3,1983, Hans Pia sent a letter to a number of outstanding and generally respected neurosurgeons who were expected to have a special interest in the future of neurosurgeons in connection to various problems regarding ethics, behavior and the like in daily neurosurgical practice.In this letter, the concept of a Eurasian Academy was explained and a first meeting in Brussels was announced to be held during the 7th Congress of the European Association of Neurological Surgeons.
            This meeting took place on August 30,1983,in Jean Brihaye's home where a more detailed presentation of the project was given by Hans Pia and Keiji was followed by a lively discussion of the many attendants, expressing their positive feelings (present: Sh. Ishii, H. Handa, B. Guidetti, F. Loew, W. Luyendijk, E. Pasztor, B. Pertuiset, L. Symon, F. Walder, G. Foroglou and Chung-Chen). The project was accepted unanimously, and a small group was installed for further progress and realization (Pia, Sano, Brihaye, Loew and Luyendijk).
            In November 1983, the preparatory group had several meetings in Hong-Kong during the 6th Asian-Australian congress (Pia, Sano, Brihaye, Handa, Hsiang-Lai Wen, Ishii, Loew, Walder and Luyendijk).(From 20 to 25 November 1983 in Hotel Excelsior).Many aspects of the Academy were thoroughly discussed, as for instance, the constitution which had already been prepared by Pia, Sano and Luyendijk, the membership, the slate of officers, the logo and the place and date of the first convention. At the end of the Hong-Kong meeting it was decided that the first convention would be held in Bonn, Germany, September 25-28,1985. Pain was chosen as the main theme because it was generally expected that this subject would offer divergent aspects in relation to different cultures in Eurasia.
            The Hong-Kong Meeting was the start of a highly active period during which much had to be finally worked out before the official foundation of the Academy and its first convention constitution name and logo, selection of potential candidates for membership, and the preparation of the first convention in Bonn regard to with programs, topics and lectures.
            The proposed name ACADEMIA EURASIANA NEUROCHIRURGICA was unanimously approved, as was the motto of the Academy: HUMANITATI ET ARTI. This motto, as explained by K.Sano, means that the Academy is dedicated to Humanity and to Art, both of which are the backbone as well as the symbol of the Academy. The logo on its front side shows the schematic drawing of Eurasia surrounded by the name of the Academia and the year of its foundation: MCMLXXXIV; its reverse shows a schematic drawing of the brain on which a trepan is pictured with the Aesculap serpent winding around it; the background is formed by the Pa-Kua symbol of the classical Chinese medicine representing the Yin and Yang (originated by the legendary Chinese Emperor FU-HSI, the founder of classical Chinese medicine) aspects of East Asian philosophy. A ceremonial and medallion was designed for the President.

    The slate of the first officers, nominated during the Hong-Kong meeting, was as follows:
                President: Hans W.Pia
                President-elect: Keiji Sano
                Vice-President: Jean Brihaye
                Honorary Vice-President: Emil Pasztor
                Secretaries: Fritz Loew and Shozo Ishii
                Chairman of the membership committee: Hajime Handa
                Treasurers: Hsiang-Lai Wen and Fons Walder
                Historian: Willem Luyendijk
            As the membership of East European countries appeared to meet with several practical complications, a special meeting was organized in the National Institute of Neurosurgery in Budapest on May 10-12, 1984 (J.Brihaye, F.Loew, H.Pia, E.Pasztor, K.Sano and F. Walder). The financial aspects of membership were estimated to be too high for the East European colleagues and were intensively discussed. The present colleagues I candidates from socialist countries proposed to consider the financial problem with their academic co members and with their respective governmental authorities .In case of a negative official decision it was provisionally proposed to transfer the annual dues to a special local account.
            In order to finalize the decisions and also to make the new Academy better known and understood, several more meetings still were held at different opportunities: in Wurzburg at the occasion of the 50 years anniversary of the university Department of Neurosurgery in October 1984, where contacts were made with a number of German neurosurgeons; in Leiden (September 1984) where Pia, Luyendijk and Brihaye re-examined outstanding problems in Amsterdam on May 1985 (Pia, Sano, Luyendijk, Walder and Brihaye); in Frankfurt on August 1985 where the last details before the Bonn meeting were considered by Pia, Luyendijk, Walder, Loew and Brihaye.