Fifty years of impact on liver pathology: a history of the Gnomes

Michael Torbenson, Valeer Desmet, Helmut Denk, Francesco Callea, Alastair D. Burt, Stefan G. Huebscher, Luigi Terracciano, Hans-Peter Dienes, Zachary D. Goodman, Pierre Bedossa, Ian R. Wanless, Eve A. Roberts, Elizabeth M. Brunt, Andrew D. Clouston, Annette S. H. Gouw, David Kleiner, Peter Schirmacher, Dina Tiniakos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Professional societies play a major role in medicine and science. The societies tend to be large with well-developed administrative structures. An additional model, however, is based on small groups of experts who meet regularly in an egalitarian model in order to discuss disease-specific scientific and medical problems. In order to illustrate the effectiveness of this model, the history and practices are examined of a long-standing successful example, the International Liver Pathology Group, better known as the Gnomes. The history shows that groups such as the Gnomes offer a number of important benefits not available in larger societies and nurturing such groups advances science and medicine in meaningful ways. The success of the Gnomes' approach provides a road map for future small scientific groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-200
Number of pages10
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number2
Early online date30-Jun-2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2021


  • Cooperative Behavior
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Liver/pathology
  • Liver Diseases/history
  • Models, Organizational
  • Pathology, Clinical/history
  • Societies, Medical/history
  • Societies, Scientific/history

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