Science of aging: an interactive timeline

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:



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.



  1. Hi,

    By looking at this time table, I noticed that between 1990 and 1999, there were five ‘major events’.
    On the other side, between 2000 and 2009, just one.

    Does it mean that the rate of progress in science of aging is slowing down?

    What is your impression about rate of progress in biogerontology in last 9 years compared to the past?


  2. The rate of progress is accelerating, of course — it’s just that the contributors have been focusing on papers that are clearly classics. It’s harder to evaluate the “classic” status of a paper published very recently.

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