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Seth Mnookin
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA 02139-4307)
The Mortal Truth: A Cultural, Historical, and Scientific Examination of the Past, Present, and Future of Aging

Writing a historical and contemporary narrative of aging and longevity research, reviewing the scientific and cultural implications of extending the human lifespan.

"The Mortal Truth" is a book about aging for a general audience. It will examine both cutting edge research into aging and the treatments and supposed cures that research is engendering, and cover the way humans have conceived of and approached aging for the last 3,000 years. By 2035, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that the United States will have more citizens over the age of 65 than under 18. Given this demographic shift, "The Mortal Truth" will provide much-needed information on preparing for a future in which the elderly, and issues surrounding aging, will play an increasing important role. This project will also fill a hole in the current literature: There is not an up-to-date broad narrative on aging for a non-specialist readership. At a time when the public often gets confusing or contradictory information about scientific advances, this type of humanities-based research project can play a crucial part in informing our country's citizens.

Project fields:
History of Science; Journalism; Social Sciences, General

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/15/2019 – 8/14/2019