Project4Awesome: An easy way to help life extension

Busy as I am studying biology and helping out LEAF, my posts here have become rarer than water in the desert; thus, when I break the silence—like I’m doing right now—you know it’s for a good reason.

Have you ever heard of Project4Awesome? If not, read on. If you have, read on anyway.

Project4Awesome—P4A for short—is an initiative by the Vlogbrothers, Hank and John Green. Each year in December, P4A invites YouTubers all over the world to make videos and publish them on YouTube to let everyone know about their favourite charities. Videos are then submitted to P4A’s website where people can vote for them. Charities with the most votes are awarded a prize by the Foundation to Decrease Worldsuck—created by the Green brothers—and yes, more than one charity can win. To my knowledge, this year’s prize is $25,000 per charity. Charities in the rejuvenation business could do a lot with that kind of money.

Speaking of which, this is a great occasion to help both SENS Research Foundation and LEAF. My readership will hardly not know who they are, but just in case: SENS Research Foundation is a charity and pretty much the leading organisation working on rejuvenation biotechnologies against ageing. LEAF, the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation, is a charity working to popularise and crowdfund research against ageing. You can help these charities either by making a video yourself, or voting for videos on them on P4A’s website.

As explained on P4A’s website itself, your video needn’t be professional-looking; it can be a short, cellphone video. (As a matter of fact, short videos, say 2-4 minutes, are strongly encouraged.) In addition, you can submit a video for each charity you like, so for example making one for SENS doesn’t mean you can’t make one for LEAF, and vice-versa. More detailed instructions on video-making and how to proceed can be found here, but I’d like to remind you that your video needs to be submitted to P4A between December 15th-17th. That’s also when you’ll be able to vote for other people’s videos. If you do make a video, make sure to get your friends to vote for it, and in general, spread the word: The more people in the life extension community will know about this, the higher the chances SENS and/or LEAF will win a prize; more importantly, this is a great occasion to bring life extension to the attention of Hank Green, who’s rather interested to begin with and has a rather huge follow on Facebook, Twitter, and through different YouTube channels, such as SciShow.

I have already made my video for LEAF, and one for SENS is in the making. If you don’t have a YouTube channel, that’s no big deal because you can easily make one; anyone with an account on YouTube can. That’s what I did—I didn’t have a channel until it was necessary for this very reason. (I wouldn’t expect much else to become available on my channel, but you never know.) I will post my video here after I submit it to P4A.

Please, don’t pass on this chance! It’s fairly easy and costs you nothing. Don’t leave it up to other people to make a video, don’t leave it up to other people to vote: Take the initiative and do something yourself! If everyone left it up to others to do something, no one would do anything and sayonara rejuvenation biotechnologies. Take control, and help us make it happen.

Thanks!

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Let’s get SENS on SciShow

I’ve been thinking for a while about how supporters of SENS and rejuvenation science can help beyond donating money and talking to friends and family about our cause to end ageing. Even persuading one person to join the cause is great, but getting the message to millions of people would be much better.There’s a tiny chance we could make it.

Have you heard of the YouTube channels SciShow and VSauce? If not, you should really check them out. SciShow focuses on bringing science to the masses through extremely informative and fun videos where a host (usually, but not exclusively, Hank Green) talks about a certain scientific topic, either because they’re interested in the topic themselves or because their fans asked for it. VSauce isn’t strictly about science, but rather about what its host, Michael Stevens, finds interesting—i.e. pretty much anything in the universe. I think they’re both awesome channels, definitely among my favourite ones on YouTube. Do you know how many subscribers they have? 3.5 and 10 millions, respectively. If they did a video about SENS, or even better, if they interviewed Aubrey, the exposure the rejuvenation cause could get would be enormous.

I’m quite sure Hank would be interested; as shown in this video, he’d appreciate the extra nerd time he’d get thanks to rejuvenation biotechnologies. I’m not super sure VSauce has made any videos about ageing, but I think Michael may very well be interested in the subject. It’s the kind of stuff whose implications, twists, and details he could go on about for days, probably. Additionally, both channels interview scientists in some of their episodes, and I’d love to see Aubrey on one of those.

I’m not the only one to think this could be a good idea; Keith Comito of Lifespan.io talks about it in this video, and apparently he’s in touch with the host of VSauce 3 (there’s more than one VSauce channel), who seems to be very interested.

I talked about this with Jerri Barrett, SENS’s vice president of outreach, and she seems to agree as well. She said she’ll look into it, but also that these channels pay a lot of attention to their fan base, and she’s right. If enough people emailed or tweeted to SciShow, VSauce, and/or their hosts suggesting to interview Aubrey or talk about SENS/rejuvenation biotechnologies on one of their episodes, they might just listen to us.

You can get in touch with SciShow and/or its hosts through their YouTube channel, their website, their Twitter, Tumblr, and their Facebook page; Hank Green can be reached via Twitter or Facebook. Same goes for host Michael Aranda; you’ll find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Similarly, you’ll find VSauce of course on Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook.

By all means, if you want to help, do not stop at these two channels; there are many others that may be interested in talking about rejuvenation. I’m giving a few more suggestions here, but feel free to get in touch with any channels or websites you deem appropriate. You can also leave your suggestions in the comments below.

DNews: Another science-related YouTube channel. You’ll find them also on Facebook and Twitter; here you’ll find information to get in touch with individual hosts, if you like.

Singularity 1 on 1: These chaps like to interview prominent scientists and thinkers for their podcasts. You’ll find them on their website, and on Twitter and Facebook among others. (UPDATE: They’ve actually interviewed Aubrey twice already.)

Wait but why: WBW is a very popular technology blog dealing with a variety of different topics. You can get in touch with them via their website, their Facebook, and their Twitter.

TED talks: TED hosts speakers with ‘ideas worth spreading.’ Aubrey was there quite some time ago, and it is perhaps time we suggested him for another talk.

The skeptic’s guide to the universe: They’re into science-related podcasts, and I’m sure their million followers could use one about rejuvenation. Find them on their website, on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.

In order for this to work, though, we need to gain some momentum. If just a couple of people tweet to Hank Green, it probably won’t work. What we need is many people getting in touch with them and let them know their fan base would really like to see a video about SENS, rejuvenation, Lifespan.io, Aubrey de Grey, and all that is going on in the rejuvenation world.

I’m sharing this post on relevant subreddits, facebook groups, and all supporters of the cause I know; if you do the same, it might just work. Thanks!