A wide variety of ambitions and measures to slow, stop, and reverse phenomena associated with ageing have been part of human culture since early civilization. From alchemy to cell injections to dietary supplements, the list of techniques aimed at altering the processes of ageing continues to expand. Charlatans, quacks and entrepreneurs proffering anti-ageing products and practices have always exploited uniformed customers and instilled doubt and apprehension toward
practices intended to extend life. Recently, however, the pursuit of longevity has developed into a respectable scientific activity. Many biologists are substantially funded by the government and the private sector to conduct research that they believe will lead to effective anti-ageing
While many embrace this quest for "prolongevity" - extended youth and long life - others fear its consequences. If effective anti-ageing interventions were achieved, they would likely bring about profound alterations in the experiences of individual and collective life. What if ageing could be decelerated to the extent that both average life expectancy and maximum life span would increase by forty percent? What if all humans could live to be centenarians, free of the chronic diseases and
disabilities now commonly associated with old age? What if modern scientists could find the modern equivalent to the Fountain of Youth that Ponce de Leon sought?
This book addresses these questions by exploring the ramifications of possible anti-ageing interventions on both individual and collective life. Through a series of essays, it examines the biomedical goal of prolongevity from cultural, scientific, religious and ethical perspectives, offering a sweeping view into the future of ageing.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 487
Weight: 837 g
Dimensions: 241 x 163 x 38 mm
"This timely book, consisting of 17 chapters, a highly commendable annotated bibliography, and a review of selected primary articles, was assembled to review the history of the quest for extended and eternal life, the contemporary science of prolongevity, ethical and social perspectives on radical life extension, and the legitimacy of the antiaging movement . . . I would highly recommend this book as a most readable, provocative, and informative primer for all serious observers of biogerontology (including geriatricians) as they examine the progressive aging of the world's population - a trend that is certain to pose a central challenge to 21st-century civilization." --William R. Hazzard, M.D., in The New England Journal of Medicine
"The editors tactfully and unobtrusively present scholarly apparatus and the language is sophisticated but clear, opening the views of scientists, religious thinkers, bioethicists, historians and social scientists to a broad range of readers." --Science & Theology News