Paul House has started a project that should be of wide interest to Ouroboros readers: a Timeline of Discoveries in the Science of Aging. His goal is to facilitate the creation of a record of the major events in the history of (bio-)gerontology, and publish it in a visual interactive form that grows in response to user input. Clicking on an individual event along the timeline expands it into a full article.

In Paul’s words (from a comment he made here earlier):

I have also been thinking about how to keep up with all the information, and struck on the idea of creating a timeline, that could maybe be a wiki(user driven).

My idea is to build a database of research on aging, keeping track of the date, name, institution, funding, technology, and tags. Then have the database/timeline filtered by any of those variables. I.E. Just show papers by one author…etc…

Anyway, I submit the link here if anyone would be willing to give feedback, of any kind, it would be much appreciated:

Timeline:
http://science-of-aging.healthaliciousness.com/timelines/science-of-aging-timeline.php

Entry:
http://science-of-aging.healthaliciousness.com/timelines/aging-entry.php

This technique could be of general utility in storing and displaying the historical record within a field — Paul has also initiated a timeline reflecting important milestones in the cell theory of life.

The idea is for the site to be interactive in multiple ways — not only in the sense that the timeline is a clickable object that expands in response to user behavior, but also in the sense that user-generated content can be incorporated into the object itself. It’s like a visual wiki.

So if you can think of a major event in the history of our field that belongs on the chart, visit the Science of Aging timeline and make an entry. (As soon as I post this I’m going to submit an entry about the Hayflick limit, which is the founding observation of my own field.)

I think this is a great idea, so I’m hoping that the community will support Paul’s effort.