EP 14: Laura Deming on living forever, contrarian thinking, homeschooling, beauty of mathematics and funding longevity research

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In this episode of The Good Time Show, Aarthi and Sriram interviewed Laura Deming. Laura Deming is a partner at and founder of The Longevity Fund, a venture capital firm focused on aging and life extension. At age 8, Deming became interested in the biology of aging, and at age 12 she joined the lab of Cynthia Kenyon at the University of California, San Francisco. Deming was accepted to MIT at age 14 and later dropped out to accept the Thiel Fellowship and start a venture capital firm.

We covered topics on aging, longevity research, the philosophical implications of living ‘forever’, contrarian thinking, beauty of mathematics (and the number 28), homeschooling and why research funding is a popularity contest now.

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00:00:00 – Introduction

00:00:45 – Welcome Laura Deming

00:01:12 – Who is Laura

00:01:50 – Laura’s childhood, Cynthia Kenyon

03:53:00 – Working in a lab at age 11

05:30 – Childhood and early life

08:00 – Homeschooling

11:20 – Early interest in longevity

13:35 – Death vs aging

15:40 – What is aging research

23:05 – Philosophical underpinnings of working on aging

27:50 – What does it mean to live for 200 years – second order effects

31:30 – Are we ageist? Zero sum vs positive sum thinking

36:23 – Memory and Consciousness

38:10 – Contrarian thinking

43:15 – Scientific funding being a popularity contest

45:00 – How to make people take aging research seriously

45:45 – IVF 47:40 – Being an investor, finding the best entrepreneurs

52:30 – East coast vs west coast

58:50 – Does dealing with hardships make you a better founder?

1:01:45 – Turning 28, Aphantasia, Inner voice

1:05:55 – “Everything is made of atoms” – Feynman

1:12:55 – Beauty of mathematics and it’s role in biology

1:23:40 – Finding beauty in everyday things