Dr. Ken Hayworth: Will You Preserve Your Brain? (Part 1)
“I wish it were possible, from this instance, to invent a method of embalming drowned persons, in such a manner that they might be recalled to life at any period, however distant; for having a very ardent desire to see and observe the state of America a hundred years hence, I should prefer to an ordinary death, the being immersed in a cask of Madeira wine, with a few friends, until that time, then to be recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country. But since, in all probability, we live in an age too early, and too near the infancy of science, to see such an art brought in our time to its perfection, I must, for the present, content myself with the treat…of the resurrection of a fowl or a turkey-cock.”
– Ben Franklin, Observations on the Generally Prevailing Doctrines on Life and Death
When Benjamin Franklin wrote this letter to his friend Jacques Barbeu-Dubourg, he was intrigued by examples he claimed to have witnessed of flies that had drowned and encased themselves in wine, only to revive once freed. Franklin was realistic about his own chances of resurrection, but presumably Barbeu-Dubourg – a French scientist – was never able to deliver on his promise of the rebirth of a turkey-cock.
Living ‘too near the infancy of science’ meant that Franklin lived in an era where distinguishing science from wishful thinking and charlatanism was particularly difficult. Yet the discussion around preservation with the goal of later revival has not changed much in the intervening 200 years. Often individuals’ opinions on the quality of current preservation methods are suspiciously well aligned with whether or not they think the whole ‘life after death’ thing sounds like a good idea. Is the field legitimate science, pseudo-science, or the domain of hucksters? Dr. Ken Hayworth – a proponent of the idea of brain preservation – wants to move the debate around brain preservation beyond ideology and towards measurable scientific milestones.
Read More: Neuroscience News & Neuroscience Books
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– Dr. Ken Hayworth: Will You Preserve Your Brain?
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– Dr. Ken Hayworth: If We Can Build A Brain, What Is The Future Of I?