Rebooting and Hacking Space Ageing in exploration using the “Space Age Pathways"

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February Public Talk: Jennifer Donohue
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Please note: this hybrid event is free and open to the public and will take place at Burlington House and online at 1pm.


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Rebooting and Hacking Space Ageing in exploration using the “Space Age Pathways”

The increase in life expectancy has brought with it serious health and financial challenges on Earth. Space exploration, the effects of microgravity, free radicals, cosmic ray damage to DNA and space laboratories have already offered significant intelligence about the ageing process and how to ‘hack’ and ‘wrangle’ it. However, as with all technologies, whether it be SARS-CoV-2, malaria or HIV vaccines or the immortality of cancer cells, it requires focus upon the issue and significant financial backing to “get the job done”. If it is truly the intention to colonise Mars, to perfect the Gateway project and to physically tour in space rather than to manifest these outcomes only robotically or virtually, the associated ageing problems need to be addressed. In this lecture we explore the effect of space exploration on the human body: the work already underway, the future challenges of “space ageing" and the impact of this and the parallel research on Earth as a significant alliance to be harnessed in confronting these dual terrestrial and extraterrestrial objectives.


Headshot of Jennifer Donohue, a caucasian woman with blonde hair pinned up and blue eyes.
Jennifer Donohue
Jennifer Donohue


About our speaker

Jennifer G.A. Donohue

Jennifer is a lawyer, archaeologist and mathematician. As a lawyer at Keystone Law she specialises in longevity risk to secure better outcomes for pension funds in severe deficit. She is recognised as a global expert on Longevity Risk. Jennifer is a Director and Founder of QuILT: a regenerative medicine fund seeking to manage ageing as a disease and invest in medical technologies, research and pathways to slow down or intervene in the ageing trajectory. She is a Director and Co-founder of Algorithm and Extremal Consulting a mathematics company specialising in the application of combinatorics and network connectivity theory to complex issues such as spread of infection, decommissioning of fossil fuels, the issues of ageing and calculation of life expectancy and management of fund assets. Jennifer worked for many years for the United Kingdom Government both in the United Nations and Brussels negotiating a variety of Treaties. One of her roles was implementing into United Kingdom law the “United Nations Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies”. She has also advised on the risk and effect of multiple satellite launches and regulation of air space above the Troposphere. She has given advice on regulatory elements of the Lunar Gateway project. During SARS-CoV-2 she advised on various risks associated with the procurement and roll out of the global vaccine programme. Jennifer is part of the team advising the U.K. Government on the implementing of their policy “to provide five more years of longer healthier life”. She also advises U.K Government Select Committees on ageing and pensions. Recent work has included the effects of space travel on ageing and the opportunity to use space exploration as a significant path finding opportunity not just of “space ageing” but for research into medical intervention and improvement of terrestrial ageing. Jennifer is an accomplished global lecturer and has published numerous books, articles and academic papers.


Venue Address

The Royal Astronomical Society,Burlington House


51.5085763, -0.13960799999995