London Futurists

The case for brain preservation, with Kenneth Hayworth

March 29, 2024 London Futurists Season 1 Episode 77
The case for brain preservation, with Kenneth Hayworth
London Futurists
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London Futurists
The case for brain preservation, with Kenneth Hayworth
Mar 29, 2024 Season 1 Episode 77
London Futurists

In this episode, we are delving into the fascinating topic of mind uploading. We suspect this idea is about to explode into public consciousness, because Nick Bostrom has a new book out shortly called “Deep Utopia”, which addresses what happens if superintelligence arrives and everything goes well. It was Bostrom’s last book, “Superintelligence”, that ignited the great robot freak-out of 2015.

Our guest is Dr Kenneth Hayworth, a Senior Scientist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia. Janelia is probably America’s leading research institution in the field of connectomics – the precise mapping of the neurons in the human brain.

Kenneth is a co-inventor of a process for imaging neural circuits at the nanometre scale, and he has designed and built several automated machines to do it. He is currently researching ways to extend Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopy imaging of brain tissue to encompass much larger volumes than are currently possible.

Along with John Smart, Kenneth co-founded the Brain Preservation Foundation in 2010, a non-profit organization with the goal of promoting research in the field of whole brain preservation.

During the conversation, Kenneth made a strong case for putting more focus on preserving human brains via a process known as aldehyde fixation, as a way of enabling people to be uploaded in due course into new bodies. He also issued a call for action by members of the global cryonics community.

Selected follow-ups:

Music: Spike Protein, by Koi Discovery, available under CC0 1.0 Public Domain Declaration

Show Notes

In this episode, we are delving into the fascinating topic of mind uploading. We suspect this idea is about to explode into public consciousness, because Nick Bostrom has a new book out shortly called “Deep Utopia”, which addresses what happens if superintelligence arrives and everything goes well. It was Bostrom’s last book, “Superintelligence”, that ignited the great robot freak-out of 2015.

Our guest is Dr Kenneth Hayworth, a Senior Scientist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia. Janelia is probably America’s leading research institution in the field of connectomics – the precise mapping of the neurons in the human brain.

Kenneth is a co-inventor of a process for imaging neural circuits at the nanometre scale, and he has designed and built several automated machines to do it. He is currently researching ways to extend Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopy imaging of brain tissue to encompass much larger volumes than are currently possible.

Along with John Smart, Kenneth co-founded the Brain Preservation Foundation in 2010, a non-profit organization with the goal of promoting research in the field of whole brain preservation.

During the conversation, Kenneth made a strong case for putting more focus on preserving human brains via a process known as aldehyde fixation, as a way of enabling people to be uploaded in due course into new bodies. He also issued a call for action by members of the global cryonics community.

Selected follow-ups:

Music: Spike Protein, by Koi Discovery, available under CC0 1.0 Public Domain Declaration