The series of Wiggers-Bernard Conferences on Shock, Sepsis, and Organ Failure is envisaged as a platform that engages scientists across all continents and countries, bringing to the round table of science those who are well known for their expertise and outstanding achievements in shock research and experimental medicine. Paraphrasing an old saying (attributed to Bernard of Chartres), the scientific giants of the past on whose shoulders we stand today are to be thanked for the broad views we are privileged to base our modern medicine on.

The Wiggers-Bernard Conference Initiative intends to nourish this legacy and continue to expand the horizon of modern critical care medicine.

“If an investigation has failed to yield new facts which are interesting or interesting facts which are new, the investigator should suppress the urge to convert an unsuccessful or unconvincing research into a published communication.” C. Wiggers

Carl Wiggers (1883-1963), an American physicist, was one of the most eminent figures in the area of shock research and cardiovascular physiology. He dedicated his professional life to shock research after one of his first patients died of shock syndrome. He is the author of the famous Wiggers diagram used in teaching cardiovascular research. His enthusiasm for research and his quest for answers to the problems relating to circulatory failure and shock live on in the Wiggers-Bernard Initiative.

“They make poor observations, because they choose among the results of their experiments only what suits their object, neglecting whatever is unrelated to it and carefully setting aside everything which might tend toward the idea they wish to combat.” C. Bernard

Claude Bernard (1813-1878), a French physiologist, developed the concept of the dependency of one physiologic function upon another, later termed homeostasis, which constituted the scientific basis of the “milieu interieur” – a state describing the body’s constant internal environment. A dedicated and relentless experimenter, Bernard defined the principles of scientific theory and experimental discovery in his book “An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine” (1865).