Editor's letter

Dear Colleagues,
This month’s Newsletter consists of three articles.
The first is motivated by the upcoming Istanbul WFNS Congress. Prof. Dr. Y. Şükrü Çağlar, President of the Turkish Neurosurgical Society, has kindly composed a history of neurosurgery in Turkey and of the Turkish Neurosurgical Society. Although the Turkish Neurosurgical Society was founded scarcely 30 years ago (1985), the history of neurosurgery in the country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia goes back several millennia. 
The second article continues the effort to present a state-of-the-art review and preview of an important aspect of clinical neurosurgery. The Smart Cyber Operating Theater (SCOT) project in Japan, described by Prof. Y. Muragaki and colleagues, is the result of an impressive collaboration among several university neurosurgical programs and the Japanese government. Not only can SCOT further the development of cutting-edge safe and efficient neurosurgical care, but – in its “basic” mode – SCOT can be a mechanism by which neurosurgeons with the most sophisticated technology can assist our colleagues in developing countries to reach a similar standard.
The final article is a report by the WFNS Assistant Secretary, Gail Rosseau, on the World Health Assembly (WHA) in May. As some of you know, our neurosurgical colleague Walter Johnson is the Lead for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care (EESC) Program of the World Health Organization (WHO). The WFNS can become an increasingly important part of the global surgery initiative. We all need to contribute to the effort to improve surgical care worldwide – our reputation as neurosurgeons being innovative leaders depends on it!
As we prepare to convene in Istanbul, let us all remember that neurosurgery – like medicine and science in general - knows no intellectual, geographical, or political boundaries. If neurosurgeons behaved like politicians, we would likely still be performing trepanation with stone instruments like our predecessors in Turkey did millennia ago. As a resident of California (still a state in the USA – but not ready to give in to regressive national politics), I am acutely aware and embarrassed by how “retro” some politicians can be. Let us meet in Istanbul to move forward as constructive colleagues, and not move backward as isolationist individuals. The time for nationalistic grudges has long since passed!
See you in Istanbul!

Russell Andrews


February 2024