To Whom Can I Promote a Forum on Life Extension?
October 7, 2013 10:28 AM   Subscribe

I am producing a forum that deal with Life Extension issues. Presentation will run the gamut from Ray Kurzweil to tissue and organ growth to the ethical and moral issues now being face by the medical and scientific communities as they continue with moving forward with their research and applications. I have contacted futurist, sci-fi and life extension groups here in Los Angeles. What other options do I have beside rejuvenation clinics. I have thought of local universities. To which department do I direct event information
posted by goalyeehah to Science & Nature (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Health food stores. Find vegans, raw-foodists and those people who limit their calories in order to live longer.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:39 AM on October 7, 2013

Not clear from your question whether this is meant for academic experts or the general public, but there is certainly a lot of overlap between the techie/programmer/libertarian/"rationalist" crowd and people who are into life extension. (Apologies for the scare quotes but it's an easy way to indicate a disputed term.)

One example of the overlapping groups I describe would be the LessWrong/HPMOR crowd.
posted by Wretch729 at 11:20 AM on October 7, 2013

Wretch729, it is a public event.
posted by goalyeehah at 11:25 AM on October 7, 2013

Whoah. This depends a LOT on what, exactly, you intend the focus of your forum to be and what you want to accomplish by running it.

I.e., are you coming from more of a speculative-fiction "let's discuss the what-ifs of a world populated by extremely long-lived people" standpoint or from a reality-grounded position of "how can we more effectively treat age-related disease"?

In other words, do you want forum participants to be scientists? Armchair philosophers? Science fiction enthusiasts? Figure that out and it might give you a bit more direction. And bear in mind that "futurism" is (rightly) disdained by many of the serious scientists actually working to improve geriatric medicine because it distracts from the very practical lab work and experimental program design actually needed to make progress in the biogerontological field.

Yes, there's an extent to which enthusiasm for "radical" ideas re. longevity helps drive the creation of promising new research projects, someone who actually works for a biotech research nonprofit specifically focused on age-related health problems, I can state without hesitation that one thing the field absolutely does not need is more in the way of purely "fannish" enthusiasm. That sort of thing tends to bring in a very distracting "crackpot element" that we're then in a position to actively work to avoid confusion with.

In other words, it matters whether you want a forum for people primarily of the "let's shed our physical selves and upload our minds into robot bodies!" persuasion or people who want to do practical things to help make medicine work better for older people.

If the former is your goal, you'll probably do well to promote your forum on existing forums, futurism subreddits, etc. Most of that culture exists primarily on the internet anyway.

If the latter is your goal, however, you're on the right track re. local universities. The only department I'd be inclined to contact would be whichever one is in charge of letting people post flyers on bulletin boards and whatnot. You may be able to attract interested students by putting up some nice, attention-grabbing posters inviting them to your site/forum/etc.
posted by aecorwin at 11:28 AM on October 7, 2013

aecorwin, the latter is my goal. Thanks for your advice.
posted by goalyeehah at 11:32 AM on October 7, 2013

Also targeting local organizations for senior citizens might be useful. Particularly those with a focus on learning, like Elderhostel. (Whoops, I forgot it's now called Road Scholar.)
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:26 PM on October 7, 2013

I know that those in the legal field are often interested in this kind of thing. Particularly someone specializing in Elder Law or Health Law. Perhaps you could find the local specialized bar sections in your area and contact their chairs...?
posted by tacodave at 3:53 PM on October 7, 2013

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