My involvement with ISA began in 1988. I remember when David de Kretser approached me requesting me to accept candidacy for Secretary of the Society. I was elected to this position at the 4th ICA in Florence the following year. I ended up serving as Secretary for two terms, followed by Presidency 1997-2001. The tasks with ISA were personally a great learning experience for me. I learned a lot about the discipline through innumerable contacts with andrologists throughout the world. I also learned something about how to run an international scientific society and how to deal with the variety of challenges one is constantly faced with. In those years we were living through the transition of communication from mailed letters through FAXes to e-mails, and from printed hard copies of programmes and newsletters to web-based distribution of information. What we now take for granted was not clear at all 15 years ago. My fondest memories are about the great individuals I got the chance to acquaint with in ISA. Above all I remember the two former Presidents of ISA, Phil Troen and Geoff Waites, with whom I worked closely. I highly admire their professionalism, intelligence, candor, integrity, vision and social conscience, to name a few. During these times one of the main tasks of ISA was to expand to different corners of the world. We tried to encourage various countries to found their own national Andrological Societies and then to join ISA, and we were fairly successful. Our hearts were very much for the developing countries, knowing the tremendous unmet needs in andrology in the unprivileged parts of the world. I trust these activities provide a legacy for ISA for the years to come.
Ilpo Huhtaniemi, MD, PhD
President International Society of Andrology