Why 3 Oxford academics have paid to be frozen after death

Three Oxford academics have taken an unusual step - they are paying an American company to be cryogenically preserved in the hope that they may be brought back to life in the future.


London: Three Oxford academics have taken an unusual step - they are paying an American company to be cryogenically preserved in the hope that they may be brought back to life in the future.

Nick Bostrom, professor of philosophy at the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) and his co-researcher Anders Sandberg have agreed to pay a US company to detach and deep freeze their heads in the advent of their deaths. Their colleague Stuart Armstrong has gone a step ahead and opted to have his whole body frozen.

Preserving the full body is technically more difficult to achieve and can cost up to 130,000 pounds, The Independent reported.

Bostrom, Armstrong, Sandberg are lead researchers at the FHI, a part of the Oxford Martin School where academics complete research into problems affecting the globe, such as climate change. The group have set up life insurance policies costing up to 45 pounds a month in premiums that will provide the funds needed to preserve them upon their death.

Why 3 Oxford academics have paid to be frozen after death

Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a cyrogenics company in Scottsdale, Arizona. Getty Images

When they are considered terminally ill, a cryopreservation team will wait nearby for a doctor topronounce them dead. A machine will then be used to keep blood pumping while the body is cooled and the blood stream is infused with preservatives and anti-freeze to protect the tissue.

If only the head is being frozen it will be detached from the body, before nitrogen gas is used to reduce the temperature to -124 C. The patient is finally cooled to -196 C, before being placed in a vat of liquid nitrogen for storage at a cryogenic preservation facility, where the patients would be stored until technology advances far enough to revive them.

Sandberg told the Sunday Times that life with just a head would be limited, but that he hoped by that point the process could involve downloading his personality and memories onto a computer.

Bostrom and Sandberg have chosen the Alcor Life Extension Foundation based in Scottsdale, Arizona as the location for their frozen bodies to be kept.

The company already has 974 members and 117 patients in cryopreservation, along with 33 pets. 77 of these patients are 'neuropatients', which means they have only preserved their heads.

PTI

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