More than 350 scientists, academics, technologists, entrepreneurs, and humanists converged at Stanford University on September 16-18, 2005, for “Accelerating Change,” a conference presented by the nonprofit Acceleration Studies Foundation. Speakers discussed some of today’s most important trends in science, technology, business, and social development, with the goal of helping attendees accelerate technological change to foster professional and personal development.
John Smart, founder and president of the Acceleration Studies Foundation (www.accelerating.org), discussed some of the conference presentations with Life Extension. Featured presenters included Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of the bestselling The China Study, which explores the findings of the China Project, the largest epidemiological study of correlations between dietary factors and health ever conducted. The China Project found that a greater consumption of a variety of high-quality, plant-based foods is associated with a reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases that are endemic in Western nations. Dr. Campbell’s research suggests that 80-90% of all such diseases may be preventable by dietary modifications.
Dr. Greg M. Cole of UCLA discussed his recent findings regarding the potent neuroprotective effects of curcumin, the yellow pigment derived from the curry spice turmeric. Dr. Cole’s research indicates that curcumin is a potent protector against amyloid plaques. In animal studies, curcumin reduced amyloid levels and plaque burden in aging mice. Strategies that target amyloid plaque may be the key to preventing neurodegenerative conditions such as cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
Another keynote speaker was inventor and visionary Ray Kurzweil, coauthor of the recent book Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever. Kurzweil discussed his new book, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, which explores artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, and a rapidly approaching future in which humans and machines merge into a super-intelligent civilization.
By exploring innovative applications of emerging technologies across many disciplines, the presenters and attendees of the Accelerating Change conference hope to facilitate rapid, radical, and life-improving change.
—Elizabeth Wagner, ND