Radical Life Extension Survey | Your Views

Radical Life Extension Survey

Welcome to the Survey

This survey is a discussion portal for issues relating to radical life extension. This is where you can post your views and vote on the views of others.

This is also a place to enhance ongoing research. Your participation will enrich our understanding of these issues by informing our discussion on this topic.

We are interested in your views regarding radical life extension and how different cultural values might be related to these views. You will be asked to reflect on several aspects of radical life extension and provide answers to five questions, including the reasons for your answers. We will then ask you to vote on the reasons provided by others. Please share your views. You will also be able to see the views of other participants, along with the most popular reasons for agreeing and disagreeing.

After each question in the survey, you will see a list of the reasons provided so far, with the most preferred appearing first. (The percent shown after each reason indicates what per cent of individuals have chosen that reason so far.) We encourage you to choose an existing reason if one is reasonably close to your own thinking, adding a new reason if you need to. Later participants will be able to see your new reason, followed by the pseudonym you choose (see below). Authors' pseudonyms follow their contributions to allow referencing but are not linked to authors' account details or email.

Live longer?

Breakthroughs in medicine, among other technological achievements, have significantly enabled modern society to overcome diseases. Together with social, economic and environmental changes, new medical interventions helped to increase average life expectancy. Oeppen and Vaupel reported in 2002 that ´life expectancy has steadily increased by a quarter of a year per year´ from about 45 years in 1840 to over 80 years at the turn of the millennium. The use of vaccines to prevent fatal diseases and transplantation technology to replace failing human organs have helped people to live longer but within biological limits. Life extension researchers are now trying to understand and control the aging process and may someday discover ways to extend our lifespans further. 

Radical Life Extension (RLE)

Developing effective life extension technologies to prolong life is the ambition of some futurists and scientists. The more ambitious goal is to achieve radical life extension (RLE). The first step in RLE is to extend life using technologies currently available. This initial step is taken so that a person can live long enough until other life extensions technologies become available in the future. The next step is to use those future technologies to further extend life, and so on, with each extension bridging to the next technology, indefinitely extending life after every step.   

There are now several organizations that promote life extension research to understand and control aging. One goal is to develop ways to prevent age-associated deterioration of bodily functions. Another is to develop strategies to periodically repair age-related damages to the human body. Those who support RLE hope that technologies will someday be developed to enable people to live extremely long lives. However, there is an on-going debate about whether such technological breakthrough will happen (for example, see de Grey AD. 2003. The foreseeability of real anti-aging medicine: focusing the debate. Exp Gerontol 38: 927–934). There is also a controversy about whether society should allow life extension beyond the natural limit, especially if the goal is to live extremely long lives.

In this survey, we invite you to voice your opinion concerning RLE.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support for this project provided by UBC students via the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund