Robert Ettinger, a hero among many transhumanists for fathering the cryonics movement, has been cryopreserved at age 92 in Clinton Township, Michigan. He died on Saturday, July 23.
Ettinger’s 1962 book The Prospect of Immortality and 1972 book Man into Superman inspire many transhumanists to think beyond the “inevitability” of death.
Ben Best was quoted by KurzweilAI.net on the suspension:
â€œRobert Ettinger deanimated [Saturday] at around 4 p.m. Eastern Time,â€ said Ben Best, president of the Cryonics Institute. â€œHe was under hospice care and had an ice bath sitting by his bedside. His pronouncement and initiation of cooling was very rapid. The perfusion went well and he is now in the cooling box. Much more later.â€
Ettinger’s 1962 book was a turning point in human history. It represented the first time when people acquired the ambition to preserve the fine-grained structure of the human brain at death. Although Ben Franklin had imagined suspended animation centuries earlier, it wasn’t until Ettinger’s 1962 work that the idea became real. Ettinger participated in the first cryonic suspension in 1967.
Ettinger’s first book was republished by Doubleday after it was sent to Isaac Asimov who said that the concept was scientifically sound.
I hope that Ettinger is revived in the not-too-distant future to “taste the wine of centuries unborn”.