As someone who works in biological science, I give the claim very little credence. I am someone who is very interested in Aubrey’s anti-aging ideas and when I bring up aging with colleagues, it is considered to be a problem that will not be solved for a long time. Public opinion usually takes 3 to 5 years to catch up to scientific consensus, and there is no kind of scientific consensus about this. That said, the idea of not having to get old does excite people a lot more than many other scientific discoveries so it might percolate into mainstream much faster than other ideas. Still my sense is that the overwhelming majority of scientists are not on board, which will make it very unlikely for this shift in public perception to happen.
Further, I do not know why he would expect the public to care this much about the issue that it would be impossible to be elected without it. It’s not like there’s huge electoral pressure to increase spending on cancer or heart disease research, which are diseases that essentially everyone is impacted by (directly or indirectly). The idea that there will be huge pressure for aging research seems absurdly over-optimistic.
So I would give this claim very little credence personally despite the fact that I do think we can at least make major strides into treating age-related pathology within the coming decades if it receives sufficient funding.
That said, the idea of not having to get old does excite people a lot more than many other scientific discoveries so it might percolate into mainstream much faster than other ideas.
This is the opposite of my own impression, as people seemed way more interested in eg. the image of a black hole than any biological discovery I can recall.
I do think we can at least make major strides into treating age-related pathology within the coming decades if it receives sufficient funding.
Since you said that you are very interested in Aubrey’s ideas, do you have any thoughts on his framework that treating the pathologies of old age is an incorrect paradigm of medicine?
So to clarify, I think there is merit in his approach of trying to engineer solutions to age related pathology. However, I do not think it will work for all aspects of aging right now. Aubrey believes that all the damage caused by aging are problems that we can begin solving right now. I would suspect that some are hard problems that will require a better understanding of the biological mechanisms involved before we can treat them.
So my position is that aging, like many fields, should be investigated both at the basic biology level and the from the perspective of trying to design therapeutics, because you don’t know if you can fix problems with current knowledge unless you try. However, if you fail to adequately treat the condition you want basic research to be ongoing.
I wonder how much your first point might be due to the view getting excited about fountain of youth type things is a bit of a taboo, too vain and semi sinful. But if you look at behavior its a bit different. Several multi-billion dollar industries about looking and feeling young. But few are really ready to discuss that with just anyone they meet.
In some cases the model is for delivering the results is all about doing so gradually so its not quite as noticeable to those one interacts with on a daily/frequent basis.