Some very characteristic comments from aging researcher Leonid Gavrilov over at Longevity Science:
Where are the generous sponsors and philanthropists willing to support human longevity studies?
The generous sponsors are, of course, somewhat lacking at this moment in time. This is a problem noted by Gavrilov at greater length in an article at the Longevity Meme. Why longevity research funding is hard to come by is explained in an excellent piece by biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey - there is a problematic feedback loop between scientific conservatism, funding sources and public opinion. The normal process of organization, paradigm shift and debate within the scientific community is proceeding at a slow pace, but scientists also face obstacles arising from a lack of public awareness, widespread misconceptions and poor education. Research advocates and their projects (like the M Prize) can help to make the jobs of scientists like Leonid Gavrilov and Aubrey de Grey a great deal easier by raising awareness and increasing understanding of healthy life extension research - thus making funding much more likely.