Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dr. Aubrey de Grey: You Don’t Know How Long You Want to Live



This archive file was compiled from an interview conducted at the SENS Research Foundation in Mountain View, California, February 2013.
 
“The first person to live to 150 is alive today.” That was the promise featured on a billboard from the insurance giant Prudential in the year 2013. The advertisement was perhaps representative of a growing awareness that the possibility of substantially extended human longevity was, if not around the corner, no longer a science fiction daydream. Later the same year, search leader Google established a company, Calico, specifically dedicated to rethinking aging. It seemed as though the existing paradigm, in which thinking about longevity was all well and good – but actually investing in it crossed over into madness – was starting to crumble.
 
Despite these outward signs of change however, polls indicated that most people were not interested in investing – financially or emotionally – in longevity. Many saw in longevity research the problems implicit in the message of the Insurance billboard: “If I live to 150, won’t I run out of money? Will I ever be able to retire? Wouldn’t dying at 80 or 90 be just fine, really?”
 
In this archive file, Dr. Aubrey de Grey discusses his perspective on the reservations the people of the time had in relation to anti-aging and rejuvenation research.
 
What was the tipping point that would make the public want to defeat aging?
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