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Aubrey de Grey is the maverick scientist who's the chief science officer of the Methuselah Foundation. He's identified seven categories of molecular and cellular damage. He says if we can prevent or repair that damage, there's no reason why people can't go on living indefinitely. We also hear Umberto Eco's thoughts in favor of death, and Jim Fleming reads an excerpt from writer Julian Barnes' memoir "Nothing to Be Frightened of."
Diana Athill was the editor of some of the most celebrated writers of our time, including John Updike, Simone de Beauvoir, and V.S. Naipaul. At the age of 91 she's written her second memoir, Somewhere Towards the End. Athill talks with Anne Strainchamps about how her life has changed in old age.
Simon Critchley is the author of The Book of Dead Philosophers, a quirky account of how various philosophers thought about death and died themselves. Critchley, a philosopher at the New School for Social Research, talks with Steve Paulson. Then, Lincoln Hall is an Australian mountain climber. He tells Jim Fleming about his fatal adventure on Mt. Everest, the subject of his book Dead Lucky: Life after Death on Mount Everest. [Broadcast Date: March 17, 2010]