This is a really strange gnat for a gerontologist to strain at. There are a million things that we choose individually that are bad for us collectively, and the only criterion the government seems to apply is whether a company can make a profit selling them: for example, burning coal, driving cars, fishing the sea to a near-barren state... Almost everyone wants to stay healthy and active and alert as long as possible. Is Dr Gems looking for a moral objection to this? Or to researchers and corporations that help them to do it?
What’s more, medical technologies and life style changes have been steadily increasing the life expectancy of a 50-year-old in the developed world from 25 years (1970) to 32 years (today). Is there anyone complaining that this has been a mistake?
Certainly human population must be limited, the world over for our own sake and for the sake of other species and our progeny. But let’s start that process with policies and education around birth control, rather than asking people to die on schedule.
posted by Josh Mitteldorf
July 8, 2011
About once a month at Sigma Xi headquarters, we liven up the lunch hour with an American Scientist Pizza Lunch talk. In these informal lectures, scientists describe new research to nonscientists. The series is light on jargon but heavy on solid science. Each Pizza Lunch offers an in-depth look at its subject, whether it's bedbugs or the smart grid. Click below to read about and download these talks -- and to subscribe!
JSTOR, the online academic archive, now contains complete back issues of American Scientist from its inception in 1913 (as Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.
The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.
View the full collection here.