What is gerontology?

Question: What do you do?

Aubrey de Grey: The best way to describe what I do as a biologist is to start by describing what I don’t do. Because there’s one big thing that nearly all biologists do that I don’t do which is experiments. I don’t have my own laboratory. I never have had. I don’t even have training in experimental work. So I work as what, in physics, would be called a theoretician – a theoretical biologist. I bring my ideas together. I take the ideas and the results that other people have generated in the laboratory, and I come up with new proposals for experiments … both experiments to understand aging better, and also experiments to combat aging. And I … I’m able to do this in a manner that experimental biologists are less able to do simply because I have more time. Because experiments are very time consuming. Just the same way that in physics, there are a lots of people who do that – who spend their time bringing ideas together, and who work symbiotically with the experimentalists – that should be the same with biology. In biology, however, it turns out that very, very few people work on the synthesis side. And actually that’s one of the big reasons that I chose to go into the field, because I felt I could make a big contribution simply because there were so few other people trying to do the same thing.




Gerontology is the study of aging, something that Aubrey sees as treatable.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

People who engage in fat-shaming tend to score high in this personality trait

A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.

Mind & Brain
  • The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
  • The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
  • People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Keep reading Show less

4 anti-scientific beliefs and their damaging consequences

The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.

Moon Landing Apollo
  • Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
  • Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
  • All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less