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Into The Night (Part 2)

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We don't know how. We don't know when. But death comes for us all.

To be human is to wrestle with this truth and with the great unanswered question: How do we live with death in our eye? Do we go gently or raging against the dying light? Do we depart with equanimity or with anger? With clenched fists or more commonly with denial? Or do we see death as something to be fought and even possibly conquered, a challenge increasingly pursued by some of the brightest scientific minds? Finally, what are the stories we tell ourselves? Whether shaped by religion, science, art, the natural world, the power of love, do these narratives sustain us or do they fall away when we suddenly find ourselves 'with skin in the game.'

INTO THE NIGHT: Portraits of Life and Death features fascinating, unexpected voices from various walks of life: old and young, believers and nonbelievers, the dying and the healthy, well known and obscure. However varied their backgrounds, all are unified by their uncommon eloquence and intelligence, and most important by their dramatic experience of death. Each of them has been shocked into an awareness of mortality-and they are forever changed. For them death is no longer an abstraction, far away in the future. Whether through a dire prognosis, the imminence of their own death, the loss of a loved one, a sudden epiphany, or a temperament born to question, these are people who have truly 'awakened' to their own mortality.

Part 2 deepens the questions of our shared human destiny, presenting candid intimate portraits of men and women who are grappling with the same questions as those appearing in Part 1. But Part 2 explores wholly new territory, featuring interviews with scientists whose breakthrough discoveries promise to radically extend our lives—upending the conventional narrative of life and death. Many scientists are probing how rapidly advancing discoveries in the fields of aging and longevity might be changing our narratives about death. Their voices range from mainstream scientists such as Judith Campisi and Gordon Lithgow, who are focused solely on the connection between aging and chronic disease. Their mission is to increase the healthy years of life. Mike West, is an outlier and visionary scientist specializing in aging research and regenerative medicine, pushing back against our acceptance of our natural limits. Aubrey De Grey, a British transhumanist tackling aging as a challenge of medical engineering who believes humans can be redesigned to live indefinitely. Ray Kurzweil, futurist and author of The Singularity is Near, posits a near future nanotechnology which helps us exceed the limits of the human mind and body. For both De Grey and Kurzweil, death is the enemy.

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