Giving Tuesday is just a few days away, the better sibling of earlier days of mandated commerce. Whatever your thoughts on top-down collectivism, there are worse things in the world than a successful movement to prompt people into thinking about the causes they support in principle, and encourage them to make that support material. Philanthropy is a very necessary part of our society, and particularly in the case of technological progress. Established sources of funding for medial research and development, even those we might think of as having an appetite for risk, such as venture capital funds, are in fact very conservative. The greater the pool of funds, the more conservative and risk-averse its controllers. But all new lines of research, all first attempts at development, are by nature highly risky endeavors, and thus there is very little funding for them.
The world is awash in money looking for a home, but next to none of those resources flow towards the high-risk, high-reward projects that will produce the next generation of medical technology. In the case we are interested in, that next generation means rejuvenation therapies capable of repairing and reversing the known root causes of aging. The foundation technologies for rejuvenation, those outlined more than fifteen years ago in the SENS proposals, still largely languish. Despite the successes that our broader community has achieved since then, such as the current excitement and investment in senolytic therapies to destroy senescent cells, most of these lines of work are still poorly funded. Few groups are focused directly on the production of therapies in these underfunded parts of the field.
The only way that lagging fields of research and development move forward in earnest is through philanthropy. Through people like us helping to provide the resources that can power organizations like the SENS Research Foundation and Methuselah Foundation, to give them the ability to fund the right programs, to bring that work up to the level at which the world will notice and large, conservative funding organizations start to join in. Our support has enabled initiatives that have been enormously successful in past years, given the modest size of our community. We have already changed the world by helping to seed research programs that will blossom into rejuvenation therapies - but there is much more yet to be accomplished. We have started. We must now continue towards to goal of a comprehensive toolkit of rejuvenation therapies that can repair all of the cell and tissue damage that causes aging.
So this Giving Tuesday, when you think about how you appreciate the work of the non-profit organizations in our community, then make that appreciation material. Make a donation to support continued progress towards working rejuvenation therapies, and longer, healthier lives for all.