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Feature Story | Mar/Apr 2024

A Need for Scientific Rigor

Manus C. Kraff, MD, a founding member and past president (1983–1985) of the ASCRS, reflects on the organization’s early days.

CRST: What was the impetus for creating the ASCRS?

Manus C. Kraff, MD: ASCRS was created because ophthalmology at that time was starting to talk about IOLs, and the people who were doing IOLs could not get any space in journals or in meetings. It was kind of a taboo subject, especially with academia. The idea was to form a society that would put emphasis on these subjects that were not being permitted in other journals.

CRST: What were the founding members’ goals for the organization?

Dr. Kraff: We were looking to found an organization that would sponsor the formation of the science of lens implantation. At that time, there was not much control over the publication of papers as far as their scientific merit. This became relevant with radial keratotomy as well. There was no organization to make sure that papers and people trying to market these procedures and technologies did not make wild claims. We were trying to give some legitimacy to people who were starting to do work in lens implantation and refractive surgery. We wanted to make sure that the material that was being promoted was scientifically substantiated with data collection.

CRST: What were the organization’s greatest early achievements?

Dr. Kraff: When this society was first formed, the burden on its members was to create scientific credibility. The main achievements were the creation of a scientifically responsible journal and meeting. The papers that were submitted for publication and presentation were done in a scientific manner. Legitimate research was required to promote the science of lens implantation and, later, refractive surgery. The goal was to develop a society based on education and research.

Manus C. Kraff, MD
  • Retired from private practice
  • Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago
  • mckraff@me.com
  • Financial disclosure: None