The SSM was founded in 1957. Professor John Pemberton wrote a history of the early years of the Society (Pemberton J. Origins and early history of the Society for Social Medicine in the UK and Ireland. J. Epidemiol. Community Health, May 2002; 56: 342–6). The then editors of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health gave Professor Pemberton permission to reproduce the article on the SSM website for the benefit of our members (see www.socsocmed.org.uk/history1.htm).