Bioethics Blogs

Puffing Cryonics in New Scientist?

New Scientist is a British-based popular science magazine. It’s been around for 60 years, which is long enough to stumble and recover a few times. For instance, in 2009 it published a cover story with the startling headline “Darwin Was Wrong.” (Not so, even if his concept of the “tree of life” was simplistic.) The story is mostly behind a paywall but still on-site; the cover image can be found elsewhere.

To be fair, New Scientist has also published informed and incisive commentary by experts such as Donna Dickenson and our own Marcy Darnovsky. The magazine has also been, at least on occasion, sensitive to questions of ethics, as in this 2014 editorial on “three-parent babies.”

But they just stumbled again. The July 2 issue featured on the cover “The Resurrection Project.” The articles included:

Ark of the immortals: The future-proof plan to freeze out death
A visual tour of the weird world of the cryogenically frozen
I want to put your death on ice so that you can live again

The perpendicular pronoun in the third title refers to Max More, the transhumanist who currently runs the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. We last mentioned More and Alcor in March, when we referred you to Corey Pein’s excellent article in The Baffler. Pein describes the folks behind Alcor as “technophilic necromancers” and digs deep into the risible history of More’s Extropy Institute and “proactionary principle.” As science (and business) goes, cryonics is on the quackery side of reality.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.