The end of the year is closing in, and this is about when I usually make an annual donation to the Methuselah Foundation. I prefer the periodic lump sum donations over monthly contributions as it's a good way to force an occasional check on whether you're still making a good choice. In the years since the Foundation's inception, I've donated to the Mprize fund. The fund predates the option to directly sponsor Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senesence (SENS) research aimed at repairing the damage of aging, but I've continued to put money towards the research prize, as I consider it to be important.
Time for a change, I think. This year's donation will go towards SENS research - but not because I think the Mprize is any less worthy. At this point, it looks like the best plausible growth path for the Methuselah Foundation over the next few years is based on following through with present initiatives to establish and publicize a steady stream of modest SENS research achievements. I've long said that advocacy and tangible results have to go hand in hand for optimal progress; when one gets too far ahead of the other, it tends to slow down.
You get what you pay for in this life - so if we want to see that steady stream of research achievements, we have to fund the research. Other people hang around in the wings waiting for more confirmation and mass of support for these projects, but those of us who better understand the science and potential of SENS are the ones who must pay to start the ball rolling. My contributions aren't large, but then no one person can form a crowd. I would hope that discussing this topic moves those of you yet to donate to make that small effort to help progress towards engineered longevity.