From the Longevity Dividend Symposium

Dave Gobel of the Methuselah Foundation was close enough to catch the Longevity Dividend Symposium today. From emails sent at the scene:

After happy introductions, Jay Olshansky gave a summary of the article in The Scientist:
  • There are lots of old people globally
  • We are facing a huge global crisis in baby boomers getting old
  • If we fund the delay (emphasized this word) of aging we can save more than if we cured every other disease of aging outright
  • He declared unreservedly that he/they were NOT talking about reversing aging or speaking of outlandish extensions such as 120, 150, 500 or even a 1000 years

Leonard Guerente gives a survey of calorie restriction...more later.

...

President of AAAS Dr. Alan Leshner says that we must deliver on the longevity dividend because he made a promise to his first grandchild born last week that he was going to be there for the younster for many years offering unsolicited advice. The first whispered bit of advice - "learn Mandarin."

The question is only "how fast will it happen." The need is more for more "gold" as we enter the golden age of aging research from the individuals making decisions in the Senate halls where this meeting is being held.

Dr. J Goodwin of "Help the Aged Foundation" in the UK stated that the recent report to the house of Lords - "Aging : Scientific Aspects" - expressed the observation that funding for aging was diffuse and was dangerously underfunded. The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated that the number one problem facing the UK, before global warming and terrorism, was the looming explosion of the aging.

He further averred that while the UK is far behind the US in funding aging research, the EU is investing 4 times less than the UK in aging research. It spends all its time and effort trying to beat the US economically with aerospace, arms, biz and pharma research - and thus leaves aging research at diffuse and tiny levels.

...

Presentations and slides of this conclave will be available as a podcast and been videotaped. They will be on the Alliance for Aging website - Dan Perry, the Executive Director, is one of the minds behind the symposium.

The Alliance for Aging website has a press release for the occasion, as well as the endorsed version of the Longevity Dividend proposal letter (in PDF format).

This event is very illustrative of the path of moderation above all else; when all immodest goals have been swept from the table - to keep the most conservative portion of the big tent happy - one can be certain that any chance of great success has been swept away with them.

Equally, it is a sign of the success of the Methuselah Foundation, SENS and other, similar advocacy, that any effort of this ilk must go to lengths to disclaim more ambitious goals. I'll be happy to see more of that taking place, along with the awkward questions that will come to those on the moderate path when millions and tens of millions are spent on mainstream, journal-published, scientific research seeking greater goals in healthy life extension.

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