Despite the fact that the public is largely indifferent or even hostile to the prospects for extended healthy longevity in the near future, there has been considerable progress in advocacy and awareness for this cause in recent years. It is now the case that more people than ever outside the scientific community are thinking seriously about this topic. Of course many will have important facts wrong, or misunderstand aspects of published research, or disagree with positions such as support for SENS research being the best way forward, or feel that there is little hope for meaningful progress in the next few decades, but all in all a broader public conversation on aging can only be a good thing. The more often that people encounter these ideas, the more supportive they will be towards research and development in this field:
I am very optimistic regarding my kids. In forty years, they are likely to be still healthy and relatively young. So they should probably plan for a very, very long life. At least 150 years, but possibly a lot more. If you believe that my prediction is silly and unlikely to come true, I am willing to grant you that it is highly speculative. However, from what I can see, lots of highly regarded biologists do take seriously the possibility that we could defeat aging in a few decades. So it is not entirely unreasonable. And the more decades I add to my prediction, the more likely it becomes. I would argue that the probably that I am correct grows exponentially with each decade I add. I have a really hard time imagining that we will still grow old 500 years from now. I do not have a lot of faith in biologists, but there are many of them and they have better and better tools.
But here is something interesting: we never imagine a future where people do not grow old. In Star Trek, James T Kirk grew old. Even the fierce vulcans grow old. In Star Wars, people grow old. Moreover, we still grant public employees pension plans based on limited longevities. There is a very serious risk that we are grossly underestimating the life expectancy of 20-year-old employees. I believe that it is because defeating aging is a taboo. Not even science-fiction writers want to consider it. In a sense, it is not surprising that only a few outliers like de Grey and Kurzweil talk about it. Sure, they are probably wrong in many important ways, but they are not wrong in the way that matters: aging can and will be defeated.