The University of Arizona College of Science's popular spring 2012 lecture series is presenting six free talks on the effects of long life. The first lecture, featuring UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Shane Burgess, was held Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. in Centennial Hall on the UA campus. For those who missed it, or would like to see it again, his talk, titled "Can We? And What if We Do?" is available in both video and iTunes formats.
"For most of human history, what we today consider a 'reasonable life span' was a significant achievement for the average human. This remains the case in many parts of the world, but for westerners in particular, the magic age '100' is becoming a milestone to which many now realistically aspire. Our science has allowed us to immortalize cells and is giving us pointers to achieving much longer life spans. Medicine and nutrition also are making rapid progress, and in many cases what were terminal diseases are becoming treatable inconveniences. But if being alive well beyond 100 years is possible, is it really 'living?' What if we haven't planned to live that long: Can we afford it? How will so many older citizens change our society? So, can we live beyond 100? The increasing numbers of centenarians affirm that the answer is 'yes,' but what are these special people made of, and how can we learn from them?"
Arizona Public Media's video of Burgess' entire presentation is at:
The talk is also available on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/living-beyond-100/id498264717
The Arizona Daily Star featured reactions and responses to Burgess' presentation at http://azstarnet.com/news/science/lots-of-issues-if-more-of-us-live-beyond/article_003bbfb1-e2d3-5fa7-8a96-879b80004321.html