History of the ACL Study Group, as told by John Feagin
The ACL Study Group was formed through serendipity not vision. The success of the ACL SG has been a result of
vision and leadership especially by John Bergfeld and Peter Burkart, as well as the intellectual curiosity of the membership.
The serendipity - The meeting of the AOSSM was to be at Lake Placid, NY. I was in command of Keller Army Hospital West
Point - circa 1967. I thought most folks interested in the ACL would find it possible to stop off in NYC, find their way the 75
miles to West Point, and I would arrange bus transportation from West Point to Lake Placid. The response was better than I had
A great day of discussion at West Point (where we were experiencing 100 ACL's/year) or about 6% of the Cadets ensued, and
most of us travelled together to Lake Placid and continued the discussion. A key to the success was when Peter Burkart
jumped up and offered to host the next meeting at Zermatt. That accomplished three things: 1. we became international,
2. the concept was exciting, and 3. we were snowed in at Zermatt and the discussions continued uninterrupted.
The original concept was management by "benign dictatorship". Bergie bought into that from the very beginning and soon
unburdened me from the leadership. For Bergie it was a natural.
The ACL SG has succeeded in shrinking our world beyond my imagination and placing us on a common scientific footing.
I am grateful to all who have insured this progress and success and especially to John and Peter who took us from
serendipity to vision and success.
John Feagin January 2018
Read the Tribute to John Feagin