It may seem premature to be discussing the elimination of human aging as a cause of death, when so little progress has been made in even postponing it says Aubrey de Grey. However, two facts undermine this assessment. The first is that aging happens throughout our lives but only causes ill health after middle age. This shows that we can postpone this ill-health without knowing how to prevent aging completely, by molecular and cellular repair. The second is that the typical rate of subsequent, incremental refinement of big technological breakthroughs is usually fast enough (so long as public enthusiasm for them is strong) to change those technologies almost beyond recognition within a natural human life span. On October 12th, at the J-137 Lecture Hall of the Essex Campus of the Baltimore Community College, longevity expert Aubrey de Grey will discuss these and other ideas for extending the human life span indefinitely.
Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Foundation, a California-based 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging. He received his BA and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1985 and 2000 respectively. His original field was computer science, and he did research in the private sector for six years in the area of software verification before switching to biogerontology in the mid-1990s. His research interests encompass the characterization of all the accumulating and eventually pathogenic molecular and cellular side-effects of metabolism (“damage”) that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair and/or obviate that damage. He has developed what he calls "a possibly comprehensive plan for such repair," termed Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), which breaks aging down into seven major classes of damage and identifies detailed approaches to addressing each one. A key aspect of SENS is that it can potentially extend healthy lifespan without limit, even though these repair processes will probably never be perfect, as the repair only needs to approach perfection rapidly enough to keep the overall level of damage below pathogenic levels. Dr. de Grey has termed this required rate of improvement of repair therapies “longevity escape velocity”. Dr. de Grey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organizations.
Dr. de Grey will explain: (1) why therapies that can add 30 healthy years to the remaining life span of the typical 60-year-old may well arrive within the next few decades, and (2) why those who benefit from such therapies will very probably continue to benefit from progressively improved therapies indefinitely and will thus avoid debilitation or death from age-related causes at any age.
When & Where
THE FUTURIST magazine
THE FUTURIST is a bimonthly magazine published continuously since 1967 by the World Future Society and is a principal benefit of membership. We are also available on newsstands coast to coast in the United States. The focus of THE FUTURIST is innovation, creative thinking, and emerging trends in the social, economic, and technological areas.
Among the many influential futurists and experts who have contributed
to THE FUTURIST are: Gene Roddenberry... Al Gore... Newt Gingrich... Alvin and Heidi Toffler ... Buckminster Fuller... Frederik Pohl... Isaac Asimov... Vaclav Havel... Hazel Henderson... Margaret Mead... Robert McNamara... B.F... Skinner... Nicholas Negroponte... Helena Norberg-Hodge... Arthur C. Clarke... Ray Kurzweil... David Walker...Glen Seaborg... Clay Shirky... Robert James Woolsey... and Kofi Anan.
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The World Future Society
Founded in 1966 as a nonprofit educational and scientific organization inWashington,D.C., the World Future Society has members in more than 80 countries around the world. Individuals and groups from all nations are eligible to join the Society and participate in its programs and activities.
Futurists: BetaLaunch is part of WorldFuture 2012. The two-day, international conference held by the Society brings futurists from around the world to discuss foresight techniques and global trends that are influencing the future. Previous conference attendees have included future U.S. President Gerald Ford (1974), Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy (1975), behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner (1984), age-wave expert Ken Dychtwald (2005), U.S. comptroller general David M. Walker (2006), and inventor Ray Kurzweil (2010). Others in attendance typically include business leaders, government officials, scientists, corporate planners, and forecasters from across the globe.
Additional speakers at this year’s event include Intel’s top futurist Brian David Johnson; Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project; and Geordie Rose, inventor of the world's first commercial quantum computer, alongside more than fifty other presenters from across the globe discussing health care, technology, governance, education, and more.