Futurist Aubrey de Grey says so

IN THE LAST CENTURY, we have increased our life expectancy by around 30 years. But that is nothing compared to what we may soon be able to achieve, according to one of the most controversial scientists in the field of research into aging. Aubrey de Grey, 48, is the author of Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime and a computer scientist-turned-biogerontologist, with a Ph. D. from Cambridge. He has undertaken a quest to “cure” aging altogether, which potentially means attaining nothing less than immortality.

It may seem borderline crazy, but de Grey has been seriously pursuing his scientific dream for the past 15 years, and he gets annoyed when anyone calls it a theory. “It is not a theory,” he says. “It is a very real biological probability.”

When we speak, it’s through cyber-space but face-to-face via Skype. De Grey is at his research centre, SENS Foundation, in Mountain View, Calif. He appears on the computer screen sporting his trademark beard – often likened to Methuselah’s. “I have been growing it for 16 years. My wife would kill me if I was to cut it, which would defeat the purpose of my research,” de Grey says with a gentle smile.

VÉRONIQUE MORIN: What gave you the idea of pursuing “immortality”?

AUBREY DE GREY: I don’t really like this work to be described as immortality. It is a word that has too many connotations. We are not really curing death. We are only curing one cause of it, the most important one, granted. But people are still going to be able to die from being hit by a truck. So what gave me the idea of defeating aging? I thought that people were not really working hard on it. I grew up presuming that, for biologists, aging was the No. 1 problem facing humanity. It seemed obvious to me. It was only when I was 30 and a computer scientist that I began to find out that that was not the case. Especially after I married a biologist and discovered that aging was regarded as rather boring and not very important. I was horrified. Eventually, I just switched fields. I always knew that aging was bad and was potentially fixable by medicine. For me, the main motivation is humanitarian.

> Continue reading this interview in Zoomer