Oxidative stress and aging Over the past several years there has been an extraordinarily rapid growth in our knowledge of free radical chemistry and its possible involvement in both normal essential biology and age related disease and dysfunction. Much of this growth in the traditionally separate sciences of chemistry and molecular gerontology occurred independently, with little interaction or communi cation between the scientists working in these two fields. In view of the growing maturity of the two fields and the potential importance of advancing our knowledge in the area of oxidative stress and aging, we perceived a critical need to organize an international conference the "First Inter national Conference on Oxidative Stress and Aging" in Hawaii in 1994 to bring together the world's leading scientists in the fields of reactive oxygen species and molecular gerontology. The objective of this conference was to provide a unique opportunity for scholars working in these two related and rapidly growing fields to participate in the exchange, integration, and synthesis of new concepts and ideas, to engage in constructive criticism and to initiate new collaborative research projects. The conference focused on the molecular and cellular aspects of aging as related to oxidative stress. It was one of the largest and most comprehensive international conferences held in molecular gerontology. At this conference a call was made for submission of papers to be used in the publication of a book covering the major contributions of the meeting.