Programming Note: Darts and Letters is off and retooling to relaunch in a new format early 2024.

EP76: Do You Want to Live Forever?

The story of the Fountain of Youth is as old as history itself. Herodatus, the father of ancient Greek history, wrote of a mythical spring that extended the life of its bathers. Today, entrepreneurs, scientists, and health influencers are still searching for that mythical spring.

Longevity and anti-aging research has recently blossomed, with a number of tantalizing discoveries. Still, this research hasn’t delivered any magic bullets. Yet, that hasn’t stopped a cottage industry of folks hawking a plethora of dubious supplements and bizarre health regimens.

Guest host Jay Cockburn tries to makes sense of what’s real, what’s hype, who could benefit, and who would pay. Do we even want to live in the world the longevity researchers are looking for? Should we keep looking for that fountain? We’ll hear from: CEO of BioViva, Liz Parish, who has stepped outside of the regular drug approval process and experimented on herself; Dr. Charles Brenner, a scientist and vocal critic of the claims of life extension; and Dr. Keisha S. Ray, a bioethicist who reminds us that while the rich look for fanciful new ways to live longer, the poor lack access to basic health care.

This is part of a series looking at medical controversies and the politics of medicine. It received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Dr. Maya Goldenberg and Dr. Maxwell J. Smith are scholarly advisors to the project, with research from Yoshiyuki Miyasaka. For a full list of credits of Cited Media staff, visit our about page.

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