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IEET > Life > Vision > Interns > Anne Corwin

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IEET Intern Anne Corwin’s Interesting Times

Posted: Jun 2, 2007

Anne reports: Last Monday I was interviewed by representatives from the BBC for a documentary set to air sometime in the future.

I’m not exactly sure when it airs, and I’m not sure that they are either, but I think the earliest will be September of this year.  The subject of the documentary is “The Future”, and it sounds as if it is going to be a very intriguing piece.  Somewhere around 40 people were interviewed on all kinds of fascinating topics, from robotics to nanotechnology to life extension.  I don’t know if I managed to do any kind of justice to the sorts of topics covered, and there were so many things I wished I’d said afterward (and some things I know I worded quite clumsily), but it was really neat to be able to take part in such a cool project. 

I’m not sure what sort of tone the documentary is going to take, but at least for my part I tried to emphasize not “technophilia” but a rational approach to emerging tech that involves a concurrent social evolution (e.g., so that technologies can be developed for uses that help people, but that people are not compelled to use these technologies in ways that promote bigotry or injustice).

I look forward to seeing the results primarily because of the other people that were interviewed and because, well, I think that it is important for more people to become aware of the kinds of developments in science and biotech that are likely to impact their lives, in some cases sooner than they might have anticipated.

The book by Dr. Aubrey de Grey and his assistant Michael Rae (titled, Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Biotechnologies That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime) is now available for pre-order on Amazon, and will be released on September 4, 2007.  I’m excited to see it getting published—as Reason notes:

Aimed squarely at folk who want to know more about the science of repairing the molecular damage that causes aging, but find navigating the wild waterways of scientific publications too intimidating or time-consuming, this is a step by step, detailed explanation of how we could achieve radical life extension within our lifetimes, as best we understand from our present knowledge of our biochemistry.

A few months back I helped edit drafts of this book (as part of volunteering with the Methuselah Foundation) and found the level of writing to be highly accessible—I learned quite a bit about mitochondria and other biological components possibly relevant to the aging process just from reading the raw text, and I will be very pleased to get my copy of the final product.  One thing I am hoping is that this book helps make the case that addressing age-related illness and death is simply the logical extension of medicine in general—in short, it represents a very ethically appropriate attempt to expand the sphere of medical effectiveness to older people.  By talking about the relevant biotechnology in terms that people can actually understand, perhaps this and similar publications will help bring longevity science closer to most people’s field of view.

Transvision 2007 is coming up—it will take place in Chicago, IL starting July 23 and concluding on July 26.  From the official site:

...the theme of TransVision 2007 is: Transhumanity Saving Humanity: Inner Space to Outer Space, and will feature three full days of compelling dialogue with the greatest minds of today about creating the civilizations of tomorrow. TV07 brings extraordinary people from across the globe together with more than 30 distinguished speakers, entertainers and visionaries including: award-winning inventor, futurist, author Raymond Kurzweil; acclaimed longevity scientist, Aubrey de Grey; and Emmy award winning actor, William Shatner.

I won’t be attending in person (due to schedule constraints and general bandwidth saturation) but would certainly encourage anyone with the means and interest to go.  I will be peeking into the virtual offshoot of TV07 in Second Life.  In any case, I’m sure it is going to be a fascinating event, and I hope to see whatever recorded media ends up coming out of it.

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