The history of ophthalmology is important. In centuries past this statement would have seemed self-evident. Ophthalmologists and researchers can learn much about the nature of our discipline by becoming aware of the concepts of vision research and ophthalmology which are derived from the careful analysis of its history.
Efforts should be made to bring historians of science and scientists together for their mutual benefit. Modern society, however, has turned its back on the past. We live in a time of rapid change, a time of progress. We prefer to define ourselves and science in terms of where we are going, not where we come from.
But history does matter. It has been said that who controls the past will control the future. Our view of history shapes the way we view the present, and therefore it dictates what answers we offer for existing problems in the field of vision research and ophthalmology.