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The Story of these Columns

Dear Friends of Rinckside,

or twenty years “Rinckside” was published by a radiological monthly in Europe, some articles also simultaneously by a sister publication in North America. The first column was solicited by the late Peter Ogle, the journal's former worldwide editor, in 1991 and published as an Editorial Comment. Later in 1992 Peter Ogle came up with the title “Rinckside” which I happily accepted – vanity is part of everybody's character.

As time went by, the printed version of "Rinckside" was discontinued; it was resumed in the same style, though digital and terser on Aunt Minnie Europe: "Maverinck" – being playful in responsible, lateral, and independent thought.

Meanwhile, "Rinckside" has returned separately both in a printed version and on the web and is an officially citable scientific journal (as small as it is). It is listed by the German National Library as a serial publication, and registered with the ISSN International Center in Paris.

Rinck is my name, and a rink is an area in which a combat or contest takes place, rinkside means “by the rink”; in a double meaning “Rinckside” means the page by Rinck. Sometimes I could also imagine “Rincksighs”, “Rincksights”, or “Rincksites”.

At the time when I began writing these essays I was deeply immersed in medical research. It was something completely different – unlike writing scientific results for learned journals, such a column allowed commenting results and developments, in radiology, medicine – and daily life. After more than ten years in radiology, in different countries and continents – Germany, Switzerland, the U.S.A., Belgium, Norway – in different positions, at all kinds of hospitals and universities, I had the opportunity to write about radiology and neighboring subjects from different angles. These columns are not scientific articles in the sense of scientific papers but “scientifically” opinionated papers on a wide range of topics. They are written based on my own experience, but many of them have input from others – who either do not dare or do not want to voice their observations or comments in public.

I had a unique and independent platform to stress points Europe-wide – and beyond. The reader may not agree with the contents of the articles – sometimes even I do not agree with them. But the aim is to provoke discussion and change, and in this the articles have been successful.

Philip Ward, editor of the European branch of the journal until the end of 2010, and former editor of Hospimedica (where some of the articles here enclosed first appeared), proved to be excellent in correcting and revising my sometimes too plainspoken comments – after Patricia de Francisco had gone through them and censored some, say undiplomatic or unfruitful, statements.

This website – nowadays some people would call it a "blog" – comprises articles, including most “Rincksides” from 1992 to 2010 upon requests from some of those who did not read all of them. For this compendium, the articles have been re-edited and some of the errors they contained have been corrected. Some situations described have changed in the meantime – not always for the better. Yet, some columns show how things differ – some observations made in the 1990s seem outdated today. Hardly anybody uses films today to take pictures of his beloved – we have gone digital. The same holds for radiology; in many countries it is quite difficult to get hard copies of medical images.

Over time, some articles were discussed quietly, some provoked major internal exchange of confidential letters and e-mails within and between professional bodies and companies (of which I sometimes got copies), and after many years, when the subversion did not die a natural death and threats did not help, the number of Letters-to-the-Editor increased. For me any critical response, negative or positive, was a success – the topic was not kept under wraps any more, but publicly discussed.

Some politicians made reference to Rincksides in parliamentary debates, radiological societies adapted their politics, learned journals changed their layout.

After these many years I have learned that writing a Rinckside takes me a lot longer than writing a scientific paper (with the emphasis on writing, not on doing the research). On the other hand the columns are read by more people.


Yours truly

Peter A. Rinck


Blue Line


Peter A. Rinck
University Professor of Radiology and Magnetic Resonance
Doctorate in History of Medicine

Academic Résumé

Medical school and residency in radiology, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy in Berlin. Senior Research Associate, State University of New York at Stony Brook (Research group of Paul C. Lauterbur; Nobel Prize in Medicine 2003). Subsequently physician-in-charge at the NMR research group at Deutsche Klinik für Diagnostik, Wiesbaden, Germany, and resident in radiology at Wiesbaden General Hospital.

1986-present Adjunct and Visiting Professor at the School of Medicine and Pharmacy of the University of Mons-Hainaut in Belgium. 1987-1994 Head of the Magnetic Resonance Center, University of Trondheim, Norway. Since 1982 Chairman, EMRF; since 2008 President of the Council, The Round Table Foundation.

Visiting Professorships: The Neurological Institute of Colombia. Bogotá, Colombia (1986); Charité University Hospital, Medical Faculty of Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany (1991-1992); et al.

President of the European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology, 1985-1987; president of the annual meetings 1989, 2002. Chairman of the Selection Committee of the European Magnetic Resonance Award and the Pro Academia Prize. Scientific consultant and expert adviser to international organizations and foundations (among them WHO, European Commission, UNIDO, the Nobel Committee). Honorary, founding, or ordinary member of numerous professional and learned societies. Among others, awards and prizes from the Alexander-von Humboldt Foundation, Max-Kade Foundation, NATO, European Commission, Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique de Belgique, the Research Council of Norway, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

Author and/or editor of several books – not only scientific or medical – an e-learning website, numerous papers in refereed journals and communications to international scientific meetings; and since 1990 Rinckside (learned columns).

There is, of course, far more to a life ... but not in this short résumé.


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