East and West are two expressions that refer to what was once (in the West!) considered
the center of the world: Rome. However, the boundaries between the two worlds have
always been highly permeable, even when the distances required men to bridge enormous
distances. This was the case for the Silk Road, which is not only a thousand-year-old
highway of commercial traffic but an artery of culture, knowledge, and science.
Certainly, a symbol of the (re)discovery of the dialogue between the East (represented
by the fabulous Cathay) and the West (represented by one of the most beautiful cities in
the world: Venice) is epitomized by the incredible journey of Marco Polo, soon imitated
by another great and courageous Italian scientist, Matteo Ricci. The encounter of the two
Italians with oriental culture was immediately characterized by deep mutual respect,
which still exists and continuously blooms again.
The medicine of sexuality is probably the youngest branch of internal medicine. Since
its inception as a true science, more or less 25-30 years ago, it has been nourished by
dialogue, openness, and by the knowledge of different scientific and cultural expressions
that collaborate in the understanding of the biologically most important function of all:
the sexual one and the dysfunctions that affect it.
This explains the reason for this meeting organized by the Menarini Foundation: a meeting
of dialogue between scientists from Italy, where the medicine of sexuality has produced
some of the most prolific researchers, accompanied by famous opinion leaders from
Europe, America, and other parts of the “Western” world with great scientists from China,
where the medicine of sexuality is snowballing, also accompanied by well-known opinion
leaders from Korea and Vietnam and other parts of the “Eastern” world.
Dialogue and mutual learning are pivotal in every field of science, but above all, in sexual
medicine, which increasingly bases its work not only on the hydraulic and pharmacological
aspects but on the holistic, indeed systemic, understanding of the couple and their health.
Therefore, it appears evident that the millennial tradition of traditional medicines can
ideally dialogue with Western diagnostics and therapy of sexual dysfunctions, brilliantly
overcoming the difficulties of mutual understanding that there may be present.
I am sure that these goals - also thanks to the generous unconditional support of the
Menarini Foundation which has always supported the research of excellence and the
dissemination of scientific knowledge - will be achieved in this meeting which celebrates
new horizons of bright collaboration between East and West in the young, exciting field of
Prof. Emmanuele A. Jannini
President of the Meeting