In 1920, a Swiss Geologist on an oil expedition in South America stumbled across two red-furred, tail-less, and bipedal apes. The geologist, Francois de Loys, snapped several photos and collected bone samples from a single slain specimen. Travelling home, his boat capsized and all but one photo was lost. To anthropologist George Montandon, this picture represented a pre-historic South American man and supported his claims of polyphyletic origins of human evolution. Sparking a controversy that would last decades, he took his findings across the universities of Europe. Unfortunately, de Loys was a prankster and the photo was of nothing more than a spider-monkey.
As scientists, it is important to examine, discuss, and share science news and findings amongst colleagues. Issues like the de Loys’ ape raise important questions on integrity and ethics in research. Science should be objective but ultimately represents a view through a subjective lens, and therefore benefits from critical and open discussion. IMMpress Magazine was founded with generous support from the Department of Immunology and the Faculty of Medicine Advancement Office to highlight the accomplishments of faculty and students and to promote the open discussion of news, issues, and topics relevant to science and student life. We hope that this magazine will help to engage and connect students within our department and provide a focal point for discussion of many relevant topics.
In this inaugural issue, we highlight evolutionary research in immunology and take a retrospective look at the history of the Department and field of Immunology. We also explore two important topics that are not as frequently discussed in science – retraction trends and the value of a PhD.
I would like to thank Dr. Juan Carlos Zúñiga-Pflücker for his continued support and the entire editorial and content team, especially Charles Tran for his dedication and initiative.