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Views & Reviews Starting Out

Publish and be damned

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 17 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1644
  1. Kinesh Patel, junior doctor, London
  1. kinesh_patel{at}

    “Publish and be damned!” was the Duke of Wellington’s famous retort to a former mistress’s blackmail attempt by publishing his love letters and declaring their affair to the world. A lesser man than the iron duke would have no doubt quietly acquiesced and paid the money. Moving forward 200 years, the power of publication still seems to have something of a magic hold over the medical profession, even though its own papers are in large part considerably less entertaining than a 19th century kiss and tell story.

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