Re: Gerontology.

Dan Clemmensen (
Wed, 27 Jan 1999 21:42:06 -0500

Alex Future Bokov wrote:
> My friends, I find myself moving toward a career change. Since my
> early teens I've wanted to become a research scientist working on the
> problem of human aging. Money and social status were never the main
> motivators for me-- all I ever cared about was this goal. I sacrificed
> much for it.
> Now at 25 I'm coming to grips with the fact that I've blown eight
> years in undergrad, with nothing to show for it but a mediocre GPA and a
> long string of failures wherever hands-on labwork was involved. I'm not
> giving up on my goal, but perhaps it's time to change my approach.
> So, if not as a scientist, then how else do you think an
> individual can further the cause of researching a way to slow or reverse
> the aging process? What do you think the field of biological gerontology
> needs most from laymen sympathizers? Or, are there any alternative paths
> to serious research that don't depend heavily on school transcripts and
> recommendations from professors? If you were me, what would you do?
> I am asking you because you are among the few groups of people
> whose opinions I respect, and I thank you if you choose to respond.
Alex, I think you need to make a personal evaluation of all of this human/computer interactins stuff that we talk about. If you are convinced that hnman/computer interactions are becoming increasingly complex and useful, and if you think you can advance this process, then perhaps you should consider it. I personally believe that computer augmentation is the most powerful potential method of assisting the aged. In particular, T\the end result would be a method to transfer the (perhaps augmented) personality completely out of the human body. The question becomes which cohort of the aged you want to help. If you want to help current 90-year-olds, uploading is not a good choice. If you want to help current 50-year-olds before thier (our) bodies wear out or whatever, conputer augmentation may be the best way to go.

If you no longer think that research is your best field then (1) you may be wrong, but (2) perhaps you should consider science journalism or primary or secondary science teaching.