Christine Peterson on Life Extension

We’re asking each of the participants in The World Transformed to give us their thoughts on one major coming transformation. Here are Christine Peterson’s answers:

If you were to pick just one current or coming transformation that you would advise people to focus on, which one would that be?

While all of the transformations covered in this series are interesting and important, and Foresight has focused primarily on the material world transformation, there’s another one on the list that we each must take near-term action on: last week’s topic of the expansion of the human lifespan.

What should we be doing about it?

Maximizing health and delaying aging is a hugely complex goal.  As a society we should be putting more resources into research; as individuals we each need to implement those practices that are known to help today.  This is hard to do, both in terms of figuring out what to do and then in implementing it.  This was explored at last fall’s Personalized Life Extension Conference (; the next one is being planned for Spring 2012.  Anyone who wants to get on the mailing list can email me at

What’s in it for us if we get it right?

Many of our goals are huge, challenging ones — nanotech, AI, space, restoring Earth’s environment, helping those in developing nations  — that will probably take a long time to accomplish.  If we can stay mentally and physically effective, we can continue to make a positive difference in reaching those goals, and enjoying them when they arrive.

What are the risks if we don’t?

The risk is a worst-case scenario of technology gone wrong.  All of our positive goals depend on our making a maximum effort in steering the future in a positive direction.  We can’t afford to lose the insights and work of a generation of our future-oriented activists.