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Most cardiologists will be aware of the problems that exist at present in academic medicine, and the fact that many of the most able academic doctors do not go into academe. The inevitable consequence is that progress is slowed. The BMJ is spearheading a campaign to revitalise this issue and have appointed Professor Peter Tugwell to coordinate this project—one of his first steps was to write an editorial which appeared simultaneously in the BMJ and the Lancet in March 2004. This editorial is reprinted below so as to bring this very important issue to the notice of the cardiological community.