Looking At Another Anti-Aging Conference

You may recall my comments on the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) sponsored conference in Singapore:

A fair number of folks in the scientific aging research community don't like A4M. If you ask them why, the A4M conferences are singled out as a cause. Scientists don't like the fact that the less reputable "anti-aging" business community - i.e. pills, potions, and adventurous marketing alongside potentially serious ventures - attend these conferences. It's taint by association. If you look at the structure of the 2004 Singapore conference, it's divided between the scientific or medical speakers and workshops and the wider community of exhibitors from the "anti-aging" marketplace.

And on the recent conference in Chicago:

The A4M Chicago conference later this month is, like the recent Singapore event, is very much a collision between the best and worst that business, activism and science has to offer on the topic of intervening in the aging process.

Now we have more of the same in London. The enthusiasm of the A4M founders for extending the healthy human life span is admirable, but in the process of becoming poster boys and promoters by proxy for skin cream and exercise machines, this message gets lost. People look at "anti-aging medicine" and see scams and nonsense, a state of affairs that is entirely the fault of elements within the marketplace:

About 40% of the individuals sampled believe that anti aging products are basically "hogwash", while another 36.4% are "curious but sceptical." Only 3.41% say that they like such products a lot but more than 20% say that they can "work sometimes".

This state of affairs is causing great harm to the prospects for real, serious, scientific anti-aging research, which - like all major fields of research - requires widespread public support and understanding to obtain sufficient funding for progress.

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