Roman Brinzanik, Tobias Hülswitt

Will we live forever? - Conversations about the future of man and technology

(German title: Werden wir ewig leben?)
ca. 307 pages
Roman Brinzanik
Foto: Roman Brinzanik
© Juliane Henrich

Roman Brinzanik, born in Czechoslovakia in 1969, studied physics and philosophy in Frankurt am Main and Berlin. He currently works as a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin.

Tobias Hülswitt
Foto: Tobias Hülswitt
© Juliane Henrich

Tobias Hülswitt, born in Hanover 1973, is a freelance writer and worked as a lecturer at the Berlin University of the Arts and the Academy of the Arts in Munich. He has written several novels and one book for children.

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Arabic world rights (NCT), Czech Republic (Kniha Zlin), Turkey (Iletisim), Israel (Hakibbutz Hameuchad)

Summaries in English, French, Polish and Czech available


This is an interdisciplinary non-fiction book containing 14 interviews with leading scientists, philosophers and artists about the radical extension of healthy human lifespan and the merging of man and technology. It is not science fiction! The interviewees are international experts from 8 different countries, including the French Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Jean-Marie Lehn, the stem cell researcher Hans R. Schöler and the brain researcher Wolf Singer.

»Would you like to live for 400 years?«

»I’m not interested in becoming 400 years old.« Bert Gordijn, ethicist

»Yeah, longer is better. Plug me in, baby!« Daan Roosegaarde, artist

»Sure. But it would be still possible to die? Right?« Hans-Ulrich Treichel, novelist

Scientific research about matter, life and intelligence is currently achieving revolutionary results, challenging our notion of the nature of the human body and mind. Based on the potential applications of this knowledge, the inventor and futurologist Ray Kurzweil has a vision of a near future where Artificial Intelligence exceeds the human mind in all fields; where humans merge with technology; where diseases and ageing will be fought by genetic engineering and nanomedicine; and finally, where nobody will have to die by natural causes. To which extent are these predictions based on science, on religious promises of salvation or on science fiction? The novelist Tobias Hülswitt and the physicist Roman Brinzanik conducted interviews with leading scientists. They wanted to find out the current state of science and what the future could realistically look like.

For further information see also the website of the Goethe-Institute:


»Our normal fascination about the future is greatly enhanced when we consider the promise and prospects that an extended life span offers. This valuable collection brings together interviews with top experts from various fields who explore the great risks and opportunities of these prospects.« Aaron Ben-Ze’ev, President of the University of Haifa Non-Fiction General Reader 32

»The interviews on which the book is based allow the reader to gain a unique perspective on what distinguished scholars envisage for the future of human longevity. Readers can learn about what scientists think and do today and what they believe is likely to happen and what not. The peculiar appeal of the book rests on the wide spectrum of ideas presented. Not only the „hard sciences“ such as (chemisty) nobel laureate Jean-Marie Lehn, the president of Germany‘s Max Planck Society Peter Gruss, or directors of Max Planck Institutes like stem-cell pioneer Hans R. Schöler are featured. Esteemed authors from literature, arts, and philosophy are equally represented as well as inventor and futurologist Ray Kurzweil – and demographer me. I am sure that the book will find many readers in the Anglo-American world as well as elsewhere.« Jim Vaupel, Founding Director of Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

»A fascinating and very accessible overview of the latest developments in scientific research. The interviews remind us how the natural sciences, philosophy, art and religion are inextricably linked when we try to answer big questions about ageing, illness and death. This rich and thought-provoking dialogue will hopefully be translated into many languages for the benefit of an international audience.« Hans R. Schöler, Max Planck Insitute for Molecular Biomedicine, Department Cell and Developmental Biology Director

»The book deals with key questions about our future, as human life is increasingly influenced by revolutionary advances in the natural sciences, engineering and medicine. What cutting-edge scientists hope to achieve is so radical that our concept of the nature of the human body and mind could be changed for ever. The issues raised in this book should be debated by as wide an audience as possible.« Bert Gordijn, Chair of Ethics and Director of the Ethics Institute at Dublin City University

»In the course of the interviews Roman Brinzanik and Tobias Hülswitt inspire a sophisticated debate about growing old. Both interviewers provide persuasive encouragement to think about the meaning (if any) of death, about the demographic transformation with its opportunities and challenges. I would be most gratified if this book were to find a wide readership in other countries too.« Peter Gruss, President of the Max Planck Society