The organization of medicine in Europe, the UK and the Commonwealth countries was always much less formal than in the USA for many years and pediatricians interested in pediatric lung disease and asthma often started off as adult internists or specialists in adult pulmonary medicine. The early leaders in developing a special interest in the breathing of children during the 1940s and 1950s were predominantly physiologists and clinicians who began to apply physiological techniques to the study lung function in healthy and sick infants and children. A major contribution to our understanding of the epidemiology of wheezing in children was the early establishment of a cohort study in Australia which is still yielding important information. It was during the early 1970s that pediatric pulmonary "politics" began to emerge in the UK when pediatricians interested in lung diseases began to arrange an informal society and meet regularly under the auspices of the British Paediatric Association. In fairly characteristic fashion, pulmonology in Europe was represented for a while by several different societies but due to the efforts of some dedicated enthusiasts there finally emerged the Paediatric Assembly of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and its first Head, Max Zach, went to become President of the ERS itself. Despite some early doubts abut the future for pediatric pulmonology as a specialty in Europe and Australasia it is clearly flourishing as shown by the rising membership of the professional societies and the constant stream of high quality basic science and clinical publications.