Authors: 
G. Stock
Category: 
Invited
Conference: 
Abstract: 

As we begin to understand the biology of aging, it will be ever more tempting to try to plan for the social consequences of the coming biomedical interventions in this arena. But this will remain a daunting task, because the larger consequences of the arrival of anti-aging interventions will greatly depend on the relative character and timing of the specific procedures that emerge. Three basic classes of interventions are likely: ones that slow aspects of aging in adults, ones that reverse aspects of aging in adults, and embryonic interventions that modify the trajectory of human aging. The consequences of each will differ significantly not only in the time required before noticeable demographic shifts begin to manifest in the human population, but in the rapidity of the social and political changes the interventions evoke. The societal consequences will arrive long before the demographic ones, but will hinge upon the technical details of the interventions themselves -- their complexity, physiological targets, modes of delivery, costs, arduousness, and of course, the character and frequency of any side effects.

Keywords (Optional): 
social
political
demography
anti-aging
ethics