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Publications: Hallmarks And Benchmarks

During the early decades of the twentieth century, interest was piqued then quickened again. In 1905, the Journal of the American Medical Association printed Stockton's "The Delay of Old Age and the Alleviation of Senility," and the next year Marshall Price's "Ancient and Modern Theory of Old Age" appeared in the Maryland Medical Journal. The most influential of these early publications was undoubtedly Nascher's 1909 article in The New York Medical Record titled simply "Geriatrics," followed five years later by his volume Geriatrics: The Diseases of Old Age and Their Treatment, Including Physiological Old Age, Home and Institutional Care, and Medico-Legal Relations (1914). He coined the term geriatrics to describe a clinical focus and single-handedly launched a new medical specialty. During the same period, Lee Squier's Old Age Dependency in the United States (1912) joined Nascher's publications and stands as one of the early efforts in the United States to survey the conditions of old age. These watershed contributions helped lead to the inauguration of a regular geriatrics section in the Medical Review of Reviews in 1917 to promote professionalization of the study of aging. Further impetus came when the Scientific American published Genevieve Grandcourt's "Eternal Youth as Scientific Theory" in 1919. Nascher's eye-catching article "Why Old Age Ends in Death" appeared the same year in the Medical Review of Reviews.

With G. Stanley Hall's publication of Senescence, the behavioral sciences were given clarion voice in the discussion of the causes and implications of aging. Hall was noteworthy because he melded basic research with practical interventions and a critique of societal arrangements. With the publication of Edmund Cowdry's edited handbook, Problems of Aging (1939), the broad parameters of gerontological inquiry were pretty well drawn (Hendricks and Achenbaum). Accompanied by financial support by the Josiah Macy Foundation and endorsements from the National Research Council's medical sciences division, Cowdry assembled the best minds of the era to launch a unified fusillade at the problems of aging. Cowdry's encyclopedic reference, which appeared in a second edition in 1942, provided the first widely heard call for a multidisciplinary approach and helped create the collective consciousness of biomedical and behavioral cross-linkages within contemporary gerontology and geriatrics.

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Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 2Gerontology - Gerontological Perspectives On Aging And Old Age, Twentieth-century Advances In The Gerontological Perspective, Publications: Hallmarks And Benchmarks