Large scale research requires widespread support to raise the necessary funds and gather a sizable scientific community, and this is just as true of work on human rejuvenation as anything else. When it comes to the persuasion needed to gain that support, there is some debate over whether the incremental softly-softly approach of advocacy for a living a little longer and tackling age-related disease is better or worse than talking about the end goals of agelessness and radical life extension of centuries or more of health and vigor. Here are comments from someone more in favor of toning down the rhetoric:
One of the biggest challenges we face as transhumanists, is conveying our philosophy to the uninitiated in a manner that is successful and productive. For the purpose of this article, I will be speaking of cryonics and transhumanism in the same context. Cryonics really isn't a separate idea, but in my view, a tool in the transhuman ordinance to attain one of its most fundamental goals, which is radical life extension. Essentially it is a Plan B.
I have advocated for cryonics for 17 years. In that time I have encountered very few people who on first glance, found it to be something they could imagine for themselves. Very recently, I have devoted much time to the study of transhumanism, and have found the same barriers. People don't tend to like what we have to offer. I have struggled for a long time to come to terms with this fact, and have spent a great deal of energy trying to understand why.
One of the first things I feel we are doing wrong is speaking to the public about immortality. We are jumping to the end of the story, and expecting others to buy it without ever having learned about all of the other steps. Immortality is an unrealistic expectation that makes us sound like fundamentalist zealots. We can never prove to be immortal, no matter how long we live, so why come out of the gate running with it? It's not the right approach to take with the Everyman and seems to be a poor sales tactic. I think that simply going with the concept of extending one's life - for a decade or a century - seems to be an easier concept to sell. Let's worry about immortality later.