Should we want to live forever?

Dr Stephen Cave

Many people believe that science is on the verge of fulfilling an ancient dream: stopping ageing and granting us all radically longer lives. But what will this mean for ourselves, society and the planet?

Learn about this Garden Talk

Death is everyone’s final destination, an experience that unites the human race and all animal species. But does it have to be that way?  Scientific advances over the past century have doubled human life expectancy in developed countries, meaning many people alive today can expect to live to 100. Some scientists believe it can be doubled again – and more. Some of the richest people on the planet are willing to bet on it, investing huge sums in anti-ageing research. .  

But should we want to live forever?  In this Garden Talk, Stephen Cave, a celebrated philosopher and leading thinker, will examine the arguments for and against radically longer lives.  He will show that the supporter of immortality must resolve two dilemmas: boredom versus meaninglessness, and overpopulation versus injustice.  He will then suggest some practical ways for ensuring longer lives are also happy ones.

Talk outline


50 minutes

What to expect

50 minute talk

20 minute Member Q&A

About the Fellow

Dr Stephen Cave

Stephen Cave is a philosopher, diplomat, academic and writer.