The Making of Synthesis

Dr. Frederik Schroyens. Gent, Belgium. First day of the summer, 1993

Panoramic splendor awaits the lonely mountain climber as they reach the summit. Applause meets the marathon runner when they approach the finish line. There is a glow of joy whenever a person gets close to a goal they set in life.

However, nothing compares to the happiness a whole team feels when a common goal is achieved. Such is the happiness we have experienced on the eve of printing Synthesis.

When I became homeopathic coordinator of the RADAR project, one of my first actions was to outline a "Request for collaboration". In 1986, we sent this charter to all leading homeopaths who were concerned with the evolution of homeopathy and computer science.

The majority of those homeopaths reacted positively and since then this team has achieved different milestones. The printing of Synthesis is such a milestone. I will not let the opportunity go by without acknowledging them on paper. In the beginning, there was only a small group of Belgian homeopaths gathered around Professor Jean Fichefet.

This initial "neighborhood initiative" triggered the enthusiasm of homeopaths all over the globe, so that today nearly 2000 are using RADAR. It is to these RADAR users and especially to the early adopters that my appreciation goes. Many of them have been loyal collaborators in the creation and correction of successive versions of Synthesis. Other homeopaths have contributed to the development of Synthesis as a concept and to the growth of the homeopathic information contained therein.

Among them, I would like to thank for their inspiration, support and concrete help: Alfonso Masi Elizalde from Argentina; Filip DeGroote, Patrick Detand, Alfons Geukens, Jean-Claude Gregoire, Jacques Imberechts, Michel Paulus, Jean-Francois Vermeire from Belgium; Claudio Araujo, Hylton Luz from Brazil; Steve Olsen from Canada; Per Neesgard from Denmark; Jeremy Sherr from England; Andre Dieudonne, Michel Zala from France; Rainer Dierken, Uwe Garbers, Peter Friedrich, Thomas Lowes, Thomas von Reumont, Friedrich Witzig from Germany; Peter Garzonis, George Papaphilippou, George Vithoulkas from Greece; Jean-Pierre Jansen, Rene Otter, Arjen Pasma, Lex Rutten, Henk vanMunster, Eric Van Woensel from Holland; Carlo Cenerelli, Massimo Mangialavori, Carlo Rezzani, Carlo Solerio from Italy; Guy Loutan from Switzerland; Gunnar Janson from Sweden, Dean Crothers, Ahmed Currim, Linda Johnston, and Ananda Zaren from the USA.

RADAR began as a research project at the University of Namur (Belgium) under the supervision of Jean Fichefet. As the interest in the program rose quickly, it became necessary to entrust the organization and international representation to professional and dedicated people. First Eric Anbergen, and now, since 1990, Dale Emerson, and his staff have taken care of all organizational and administrative aspects. A group of "representatives" in more than 30 countries assists them. Thanks to these people, a channel was formed through which our work could reach many more colleagues.

We could write a whole book on the role computer science has played in the development of Synthesis. Philippe Santantonio, chief programmer, and his colleagues are largely responsible for the precision and speed with which Synthesis has reached its current level. As Synthesis is a large collection of data, encoding is a necessary part of the job. Thanks especially to Katelijne Vanhoutte and Gerd Van Brandt and all those who have worked with them or preceded them in their efforts to get the raw substance ready.

The Hahnemann Institut (Germany) has undertaken to print Synthesis in German. The plan was to print the fourth edition, but due to their request we decided to improve the quality first. Their solid conviction that quality outweighs any claims about quantity has supported us in the creation of version 5, which has "only" 3,000 additions more than its predecessor. Reinhard Rose and his collaborators have been of great help in double-checking many of the rubrics. He has also generated great enthusiasm in the German speaking countries so that, as we go to print, a high number of subscriptions to buy the book have already been made. This is also due to the full support that some schools gave us by subscribing en masse for the German edition of Synthesis. We would like to thank the directors of these schools. Their trust has been the greatest incentive to do the job.

Peter Vint has been responsible for the German translation, but also in great part for the creation of consistency throughout other editions; since the shaping of this new edition of Synthesis (in English) has been so intermingled with the preparation of the printed German version. His sharp, critical mind and his love for homeopathy make him one of the leading professional homeopathic researchers and translators. His reputation is well known through his work on the translation and correction of Clarke and we are happy to have him at our side for this project.

One last thank you for those who have helped with the finishing touch, reading through the English manuscript: Dale Emerson (Australia), Francoise Becquey (Canada), Nick Churchill (England), Gary Bachman (USA) and especially Joan Bielunas, my dedicated American sister-in-law. Altogether, this new concept of Repertory was born out of dozens of letters, hundreds of meetings, and thousands of hours of conversations. May this missive serve as a starting point for your reflections on the topic. Your ideas and your criticism are welcome.