16.7.08

Cryonics: Why it has failed, and possible ways to fix it - with Mike Darwin

The next ExtroBritannia event is scheduled for Saturday August 2, 2008; 2:00pm - 4:00pm. Update! The venue has now been confirmed: Room 541, 5th floor, Main Building, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London WC1E 7HX. The event is free and everyone’s welcome.

Guest Speaker: Mike Darwin.

President of Alcor Life Extension 1983-1988, Research Director 1988-1992. Described by Wikipedia as "Second only to Robert Ettinger as one of the most influential figures in the controversial field of cryonics".

The talk will draw on the speaker's extensive personal experience with cryonics - the low-temperature preservation of humans and other animals that can no longer be sustained by contemporary medicine, until such time in the future when resuscitation may be possible.

The talk will cover: the audacious ambition and vision of cryonics, practical details of how it works, a whistle-stop history of cryonics, issues with the governance of cryonics organisations,
factors influencing public perception of cryonics, and reasons for both fear and hope for the future of cryonics.

Special attention will be given to the decline of cryonics in the UK and the failure of UK cryonics to establish a robust, full-service beachhead in Britain. The talk will also highlight what can be done to re-establish cryonics in the UK as a stable enterprise that will deserve the confidence of both its members and the public as a competent, high quality undertaking offering services which meet the highest ethical, scientific and biomedical standards.

The meeting is sponsored by the UK Transhumanist Association. There is no charge to attend. Join the debate!

The venue

Birkbeck College - Room 541, 5th floor, Main Building, Torrington Square (which is a pedestrian-only square), London WC1E 7HX - MAP

The nearest tube station is Russell Square. Come out of the tube station and turn left, to walk west along Bernard St. Cross over Herbrand St then Woburn Place and keep walking westwards, on the north side of the square. Cross Bedford Way, and turn right into Thornhaugh St, then immediately left to enter Torrington Square through the pedestrian-only courtyard outside SOAS (the School of Oriental and African Studies). Veer right and you'll see the main entrance to Birkbeck College on the left as you walk up Torrington Square. Take the lift to the 5th floor and follow the signs to room 541.

Discussion is likely to continue after the event in a nearby pub, for those who are able to stay. There's also the option of joining some of the UKTA regulars for drinks/lunch beforehand, starting c. 12.30, in "The Friend At Hand" pub which is situated behind Russell Square tube station on Herbrand Street. There's also the option of joining some of the UKTA regulars for drinks/lunch beforehand, starting c. 12.30, in the same pub. To find us, look out for a table where there's a copy of Aubrey de Grey's book "Ending Aging" displayed.