2018 marks an important anniversary in self-awareness through science and art.

In 1818 the physician William Charles Wells published his work “Two essays: upon a single vision with two eyes, the other on dew” where according to Charles Darwin “(Wells) distinctly recognises the principle of natural selection, and this is the first recognition which has been indicated”.

And in 1898 Gauguin completed his eminent work of art “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?”, a study of self-awareness with a possible reference to the emerging Darwinism.

Thus 2018 represents 200 years since the publications of Well’s work and 120 years since Gauguin’s famous existential painting. In this year, we therefore propose to celebrate the human self-awareness through science and art with actions.

Our first action is the publication of a special research topic in Frontiers in Immunology/ Microbiology entitled “The Past and the Future of Human Immunity under Viral Evolutionary Pressure”. This topic proposes to explore not only the evolutionary origins of the human immune response but how that response continues to be shaped by our interactions with viruses.


Gkikas Magiorkinis MD MSc PhD Path(CCT) FRCPath

Applied Evolutionary Virology

Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics

Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens