Jan 1993 - Embryonic CR Society
The Calorie Restriction Society (CR Society) existed in embryonic form as early as January 1993. This was when Brian M. Delaney created the Internet-based Usenet discussion group named Sci.life-extension, in order to promote a more scientific discussion of so-called "life extension" (a loose term applied to attempts to live an especially long and healthy life).
From that early date to the current time, there has been much unproven speculation (and quackery) among those purporting to have vitamins or pills that can slow down the aging process. The purpose of the Internet Sci.life-extension forum was to inject some scientific responsibility into the discussion of attempts to slow the aging process.
As any scientifically responsible review of research in the field of gerontology will quickly reveal, the only valid life-extension method that has any proven scientific backing behind it at all is Calorie Restriction (CR), from which "The Calorie Restriction Society" derives its name. Calorie Restriction (CR) is the consumption of a diet with adequate quantities of all essential nutrients, except that the energy content of the diet (caloric intake) is safely reduced (by as much as 10-40%) below the amount of energy (calories) that the body would tend to naturally desire, absent any special dietary measures.
Scientific responsibility in this case means social responsibility as well, since so many consumers are being fleeced by the pseudo-scientific slight of hand underlying the supplement industry's perfidious advertising campaigns.
Dec 1994 - CR Society is Born
After slightly more than a year and a half of discussing CR on Sci.life-extension, the idea of the CR Society was formally born. The initial purpose for forming the new society is reflected in the two duties of responsibility mentioned above: (1) scientific and (2) social. All of the activities of the CR Society, past, current, and future, can be understood as motivated by responsibility in both senses.
Brian M. Delaney, President of the CR Society since its early days, was one of several who created the Society. The Society was born in late 1994 when Steven Mehalek (who had the idea to meet), Rupert Hazle, Terry Savery, Lisa Walford, Roy Walford, and Brian M. Delaney got together at meeting of the Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine in Las Vegas.
February 1995: Greatly Enhanced Version of the Calorie Restriction FAQ
It was hoped that the future CR Society would be successful at attracting a large population of individuals interested in learning and practicing the genuine life-extending principles of Calorie Restriction. In early 1995, considerable effort and time was invested to create a greatly enhanced version of the Calorie Restriction FAQ (frequently asked questions). This FAQ still exists today, but in an improved modified form.
April 1995: Creation of Email List
The CR Society email list is the primary means of communication among our members. This email list was formally started in April 1995 to allow members to support one other in various ways. Email interchanges allow members to help one another to maintain a calorie-reduced diet, allow planning informal Society get-togethers on a regional basis, and allow planning formal scientific conferences, among a variety of other Society activities.
December 1995: Creation of Searchable Archive of All Email Messages
Beginning in 1997: Data Gathering for CR Study in Humans
Sufficient time had now passed since the founding of the CR Society, to allow gathering and assembling careful measurements of the metabolic effects of a genuine calorie-reduced diet among CR Society volunteers. Commencement of data-gathering for the study of the biological effects of Calorie Restriction in humans began in 1997, under the direction of Brian M. Delaney assisted by Michael Rae, with the goal of eventual formal publication of documented effects of the practice of CR in human volunteers.
31 May 1997: Sharing Administrative Burden
October 2001: First Scientific Calorie Restriction Conference -- Las Vegas, NV
23 April 2002: Formal Statement of Nonprofit Advantages
22 May 2002: Web Master Suzi Katz approached to design new CR Society Website
03 June 2002: Front page article on CR published in Wall Street Journal
This marked a turning point in the press's interest in CR. After the Wall Street Journal article, numerous articles, radio shows, and TV programs have been dedicated to a discussion of CR.
09 Dec 2002: Tax-Deductible Donation Capability
18 December 2002: CR Society President Brian M. Delaney Formally Announces the Nonprofit
The following message was posted to the main List on 18 December 2002 by CR Society president, Brian M. Delaney:
The CR Society's New Nonprofit!
I'm delighted to announce that the CR Society has been legally established and recognized as a non-profit organization in the U.S., and has obtained 501©(3) tax-exempt status. This has been possible through the tireless work of several people, above all Warren Taylor, who led the effort, did the bulk of the work, and provided most of the upfront money (filing fees, etc.) needed to make this happen. With this new structure in place, we hope to be able to better serve the growing number of people who are using CR to extend/improve their lives: we will more easily be able to seek funding, and the subcommittee organization the Society has developed can be formalized and expanded using more traditional organizational management principles, thus sparing us the need to reinvent the "governmental wheel" as we go along (though Meta was a wonderful experiment in direct democracy!). This new, formalized structure will help distribute and reduce the strain felt by the ad hoc group of unsung volunteers who make the List and Web site work so smoothly. For example, we hope to continue to expand the ongoing CR Study, greatly expand the Web site that has grown so much in the past six months, and launch a number of large-scale outreach programs. Many more ideas are being developed. Many of the still inchoate aspects of non-profit -- such as the final structure of the Board, the future role of Meta, the establishment of Society priorities, etc. -- will take time to work out. More announcements will be made here and at the Web site as progress is made. I'm very pleased to announce that we received a sizeable donation immediately after being formally recognized. This money, combined with other previously tendered private donations, will help to offset the cost of establishing the non-profit and to take over Web hosting and list hosting fees that were previously being donated by various individuals. If you would also like to make a (USA) tax deductible contribution see the 'Donate' link on the Web site.
President, the CR Society
Early 2003: Establishment of Local Groups
Our New York and Southern California Regional Groups begin meeting on a regular basis, exchanging tips, offering support, and spreading the word. (2006: More local groups are in the process of being organized.)
June 2003: Second Scientific Calorie Restriction Conference -- Madison, WI Board of Directors organized
November 2004: Third Scientific Calorie Restriction Conference -- Charleston, SC
June 2004: Publication of the first issue of the CRS Insider, the Society's newsletter
June 2005: Publication of First Book by CR Society Members (Brian, President, and Lisa Walford): The Longevity Diet
April 2006: Fourth Scientific Calorie Restriction Conference -- Tucson, AZ