Here is the full transcript of Australian biologist and professor of genetics David Sinclair’s TEDx Talk: A Cure for Ageing? at TEDxSydney conference.
I believe that we’re all only given one precious life. For those of us who are really lucky to be born, it’s a life to be embraced, a life to be used for good, and a life that’s worth prolonging in good health.
When we’re all very young, we assume that our parents, and our grandparents, all our loved ones will be around forever; but then we learn that that’s not true. I clearly remember my daughter Madeleine – here she is – when she was four years old I was putting her to bed, and she said, “Daddy, will you always be around to protect me?” Man, it almost brings a tear to my eye right now: I think anyone who’s been a parent knows how this feels. And I said to her – I had to be honest – I said, “I’m sorry. One day, like everybody, I will grow old, and I will die.” I watched her eyes well up, and she gave me a really big hug.
But then I told her – I think what we all tell our children which is, “Just don’t think about it,” and so she did. But here’s my big idea: I think we’ve all done this in our lives, we all try to forget about this truth. Ironically, I believe this is preventing us from realizing the lives we could actually live. My grandmother Vera, she’s an amazing lady; she saved lives in World War II; she escaped persecution from Hungary and fled to Australia; she had a wonderful sense of humor, a love of life; and she spent a lot of time raising me; and she never wanted me to call her grandma – only Vera – because she hated the idea of growing old.