TRAMES 1, 1, 1997

Jüri Engelbrecht. Preface

Mankind has been looking for routes, tracks and paths during its whole existence. Romans built paved roads and nowadays the grooves caused by their heavy war chariots can still be seen here and there. Sometimes the roads of thought have grooves, too, and it is easy to follow them. But we often ask: where does such a road take us? And once again there crop up those brave enough who leave the well-known tracks and take a new direction with no path whatsoever, casting away the traditions, patterns of thought, and ignoring critics. And once again mankind is forced into recognising that the train of thought of one lonely traveller is correct and his/her followers start to build a road tracking the footsteps of the first explorer.

The road of TRAMES is not built into an empty place. Its two predecessors - Acta et Commentationes Universitatis Tartuensis B, and Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences - Humanities and Social Sciences, have both during long, rapidly changing and unsteady periods reflected the world through the eyes of Estonian scientists together with their colleagues from other countries. These issues are stacked in many libraries throughout the world and have hopefully reached also the desks of researches. Yet, the editors and publishers of these two journals came to the conviction that being united, the voice of Estonia would be heard wider and the twice broader path would be visible to others marching in the same direction. What was planned has now been done - the first issue of TRAMES is before you, dear reader, to be evaluated. If found worthy, then you perhaps would like to subscribe to it and even join the list of contributors.

I would also like to pay tribute to the late Andrus Park, the Fellow of the Estonian Academy of Sciences who brought up the idea to unite the two Estonian journals. As a philosopher and an ardent explorer himself, he clearly saw the possibilities in this path. It is not surprising that we both decided to work in this direction when staying in Cambridge - the starting point of many ideas.

No road in science is easy, because it is directed into the wilderness of Nature and yet there are explorers who find something new by just using their razor sharp minds. On behalf of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, I wish every success to TRAMES and its editorial staff.

Per aspera ad astra!

Jüri Engelbrecht
President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences

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Estonian Academy of Sciences
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