Two Leading Scientists Debate Human Lifespan

These two scientists have significantly different views on aging.


Open Longevity DebateOpen Longevity Debate

A debate titled “How to Defeat Aging” will be held on May 27, 2024, featuring two distinguished scientists, Peter Fedichev and Aubrey de Grey, both proponents of radical life extension with biotechnology, with opposing views.

Fedichev believes aging is irreversible but can be slowed or stopped, while de Grey argues for the potential of rejuvenation to reverse aging. The debate will discuss the feasibility of these approaches in light of recent scientific advancements and growing clinical evidence, aiming to determine which method can deliver clinical therapeutics that can significantly extend human life within the next 10 years. The event, hosted by the Foresight Institute, Say Forever, and Open Longevity, will be accessible both offline and online. The winner, chosen by a jury, will receive a $10,000 prize to further their research.

The Jury

  • Prof. David Furman (Buck/Stanford)
  • Prof. Dorota Skowronska-Krawczyk (UCI)
  • Prof. Guo Huang (UCSF)
  • Prof. Thomas Stoeger (Northwestern)
  • Prof. Mattew Yosefzadeh (Columbia)

The quest for longevity has captured human imagination for centuries. In recent years, significant advancements in science and technology have brought us closer to potentially revolutionary breakthroughs in the field of aging research. However, the path forward is not clear-cut, with two distinct and scientifically grounded schools of thought emerging:

  1. Reversing Aging through Rejuvenation: Dr. Aubrey de Grey, a biomedical gerontologist with a PhD in Biology from Cambridge, is the leading proponent of the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS). This comprehensive approach aims to repair and rejuvenate the human body at the cellular and molecular level by targeting seven categories of age-related damage: cell loss, division-obsessed cells, death-resistant cells, mitochondrial mutations, and the accumulation of intracellular, extracellular, and extracellular matrix waste products. De Grey’s premise is that aging is a disease that can be treated and potentially cured, just like any other ailment. He is President and Chief Science Officer of the LEV Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing rejuvenation biotechnologies. A prolific speaker and author, he has co-founded multiple organizations, including the Methuselah Foundation and SENS Research Foundation, to accelerate research and development in this field. His work has garnered international recognition and sparked considerable debate, positioning him as a key figure in the longevity research landscape. .
  1. Halting Aging by Managing Irreversible Damage: On the other side, Peter Fedichev, a co-founder of longevity biotech Gero, a physicist and gerontologist with a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Amsterdam, proposes a different paradigm. Fedichev’s research, rooted in complex systems physics, has led him to link aging in humans with the inevitable accumulation of irreversible damage, akin to an increase in entropy. This theory suggests that while we may not be able to completely reverse aging using near-term technologies, we can potentially develop interventions to slow down or even halt the accumulation of damage, thereby significantly extending healthy lifespan. Peter has made several discoveries on what limits our ultimate lifespan and how to break this limit, which have been published in top peer-reviewed journals and featured by numerous media outlets, including Scientific American and Popular Mechanics. Fedichev’s theory is now the basis of an AI drug-discovery platform, used by Gero.ai for in-house drug pipeline and collaborations with pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer. Dr. Fedichev on X.

The co-organizer of the debate, Open Longevity, provides more details about the event, research, and the positions of the opponents. Visit https://openlongevity.org/debates for more information.


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  • To attend in person at The Foresight Institute, sign up here
  • Watch the live YouTube broadcast here
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