[ExI] May 15, 2015 – 170th anniversary of Elie Metchnikoff – the founder of gerontology - an opportunity to promote aging and longevity research

Ilia Stambler ilia.stambler at gmail.com
Wed Apr 29 13:36:48 UTC 2015

Dear friends (apologies if you receive this more than once...)

On May 15, 2015, we celebrate the 170th anniversary of the founder of
gerontology, a foundational figure of modern immunology, aging and
longevity science, and of modern medicine generally – Elie Metchnikoff (May
15, 1845 – July 15, 1916). For the proponents of healthy longevity and
advocates of aging research, Metchnikoff has a special significance.
Metchnikoff is of course known as a pioneering immunologist and
microbiologist, a vice director of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, and the
Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine of 1908 for the discovery of
phagocytosis (a major contribution to the cellular theory of immunity).
Yet, he may also be well credited as “the father” of gerontology – the
disciplinary term he coined in his book* Etudes On the Nature of Man*,
published in 1903, which may mark the beginning of this scientific field.

To the present day, his scientific reputation has remained high around the
world. In fact, Metchnikoff can be considered a unifying cultural symbol
for many nations. Beside being a great longevity scientist, he was also a
great longevity advocate, who spoke openly about the need to fight
degenerative aging and prolong life. He can be a great role model and
inspiration, and a Nobel-Prize carrying authoritative spokesman for the
longevity movement!

There is a tradition to celebrate the anniversaries of great persons
(scientists, artists, writers, politicians, generals) to promote the area
of their activity and popularize their ideology. It may be hoped that, in
this year, the anniversary of Metchnikoff will serve to promote and
popularize the science and ideology of healthy life extension, including
the state level. The “Metchnikoff Day” can provide an impulse for
organizing topical meetings and conferences, a stimulus for research, and
publications in the media, dedicated to Metchnikoff’s legacy and
continuation of his life work – the study of aging and longevity. This may
play a positive role not only for the advancement and popularization of
research of aging and healthy longevity, but also for the promotion of
optimism, peace and cooperation.

Currently events in honor of the Metchnikoff Day are being planned in Kiev,
Ukraine, on behalf of the Kiev Institute of Gerontology of the Ukrainian
Academy of Medical Sciences; St. Petersburg, Russia, on behalf of the
Gerontological Society of the Russian Academy of Sciences and I.I.
Mechnikov North-Western State Medical University; in Moscow on behalf of
the National Research Center for Preventive Medicine of the Ministry of
Healthcare of the Russian Federation, and further meetings in Moscow are
planned by several public organizations, including the Fedorov Movement,
the Russian Transhumanist Movement and the Russian Longevity Alliance;
Larnaca, Cyprus, on behalf of the ELPIs Foundation and the Cyprus
Neuroscience and Technology Institute; Oxford, UK, on behalf of the Oxford
University Scientific Society and Biogerontology Research Foundation; in
Ramat Gan, Bar Ilan University, Israel, on behalf of the Israeli Longevity
Alliance and the International Society on Aging and Disease (Israeli

It may be hoped that, following these examples, more events and
publications, dedicated to research of aging and longevity, will be held
around the world in honor of this day or close to it. Thus thanks to
Metchnikoff’s continuing inspiration and authority, the interest in aging
and longevity research will be increased in all the walks and segments of
society. And thanks to the increased interest and awareness, the research
will intensify, producing an improved capacity to contribute to the
achievement of healthy longevity for all.

There is little time left until May 15, perhaps enough to prepare a small
publication or meeting, live or online. Yet Metchnikoff’s authority may
help us promote the study of aging and longevity also in the next year –
July 15, 2016 is the 100th anniversary of Metchnikoff’s death, which can
also become an impulse toward meetings and publications, with a greater
time for preparation. The organization of several connected events in
different countries in the same day (or period) in the framework of an
international action, may produce a synergistic, mutually reinforcing
effect.  Yet, of course, those are not the only days that could be used for
such an effect. An additional convenient day (or period) to conduct an
international action in support of aging and longevity research, can be
October 1, 2015 – the day officially sanctioned by the UN as the
“International Day of Older Persons” (celebrated by some parts of the
longevity advocacy community as the “International Longevity Day”). In
2013-2014, events around that day were conducted by various longevity
activists groups, public organizations and scientific centers in tens of


Hopefully, thanks to our mutual efforts, “from above” and “from below”,
thanks to the events, organized on those and other days – the need to
promote research of aging and aging-related diseases to improve health and
longevity of the elderly population – will be recognized by all parts of
society, including the broad public, the professional and scientific
community, and decision makers, and will stimulate actions corresponding to
the severity and urgency of the problem.


*Thank you for your support!*

Please see also a fuller announcement, including the description of the
foundational role of Metchnikoff for the formation of modern science of
aging and longevity and a list of events that are being organized in honor
of that day (the list will be updated)


As well as a copy of this announcement


Also in Russian


And Hebrew


Sincerely and thankfully,

IliaStambler, PhD

OutreachCoordinator. International Society on Aging and Disease (ISOAD)

Department of Science, Technology and Society. Bar Ilan University. Israsel

ilia.stambler at gmail.com



Ilia Stambler, PhD

Outreach Coordinator. International Society on Aging and Disease - ISOAD

Chair. Israeli Longevity Alliance / International Longevity Alliance
(Israel) - ILA http://www.bioaging.org.il

Coordinator. Longevity for All http://www.longevityforall.org

Author. Longevity History. *A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth
Century* http://longevityhistory.com

Email: ilia.stambler at gmail.com

Tel: 972-3-961-4296 / 0522-283-578

Rishon Lezion. Israel
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