50 & 100 years ago

    50 Years Ago

    Concern is expressed about continuing traffic in heroin. In some areas, limitation of the use of opium appears to have encouraged opium addicts to turn to heroin, which has been more readily available. The controls on the illicit production of heroin and on the traffic of this drug need to be enforced more strictly. Much stress is laid by the [World Health Organization Expert] Committee on the necessity for providing the medical profession as early as possible with complete and accurate information on the addiction-producing and habit-forming properties of new drugs and on their therapeutic properties. The further development of media for disseminating such information should be encouraged.

    From Nature 22 September 1962

    100 Years Ago

    Man is worth many sparrows; he is worth all the animal population of the globe, and if there were not room for both, the animals must go. I will pass no judgment on those who find the keenest pleasure of life in gratifying the primeval instinct of sport. I will admit that there is no better destiny for the lovely plumes of a rare bird than to enhance the beauty of a beautiful woman ... But I do not admit the right of the present generation to careless indifference or to wanton destruction. Each generation is the guardian of the existing resources of the world; it has come to a great inheritance, but only as a trustee ... [T]here is no resurrection or recovery of an extinct species, and it is not merely that here and there one species out of many is threatened, but that whole genera, families, and orders are in danger.

    From Nature 19 September 1912

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    50 & 100 years ago. Nature 489, 372 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/489372a

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