This week on Exploration, Dr. William Calvin gives us a brief history of the mind, and Jay Olshansky discusses the quest for immortality.
William H. Calvin, Ph.D. (born April 30, 1939) is an American theoretical neurophysiologist and professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is a well-known popularizer of neuroscience and evolutionary biology, including the hybrid of these two fields, neural Darwinism. He relates abrupt climate change to human evolution and more recently has been working on global climate change issues (his 2008 book Global Fever).
Stuart Jay Olshansky (born in 1954) is a Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Research Associate at the Center on Aging at the University of Chicago and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The focus of his research has been on estimates of the upper limits to human longevity, exploring the health and public policy implications associated with individual and population aging, forecasts of the size, survival, and age structure of the population, pursuit of the scientific means to slow aging in people (The Longevity Dividend), and global implications of the re-emergence of infectious and parasitic diseases, and insurance linked securities.
During the last 30 years, Dr. Olshansky has been working with colleagues in the biological sciences to develop the modern “biodemographic paradigm” of mortality – an effort to understand the biological nature of the survival and dying out processes of living organisms.