Academics at Oxford University pay to be cryogenically preserved so they can be 'brought back to life in the future'

Some staff are having their heads frozen while others are having whole bodies undergo the procedure

The belief that death is the only certainty in life is a concept senior academic staffs at an Oxford University Institute are hoping to dismantle, by paying to be cryogenically preserved and 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 an American company to detach and deep freeze their heads in the advent of their deaths.

Colleague Stuart Armstrong is instead opting to have his whole body frozen. Preserving the full body is technically more difficult to achieve and can cost up to £130,000.

Bostrom, Armstrong, Sandberg are lead researchers at the FHI, a part of the prestigious Oxford Martin School where academics complete research into problems affecting the globe, such as a climate change.

However, there is currently no academic research currently being undertaken into human cryogenic preservation at the college. Instead, the group have set up life insurance policies costing up to £45 a month in premiums that will provide the funds needed to preserve them upon their death.

When they are considered terminally ill, a cryopreservation team will wait nearby for a doctor to pronounce them dead. A machine will then be used to keep blood pumping whilst 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 -124C. The patient is finally cooled to -196C, 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.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Sandberg said 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.

Armstrong, whose wife Miriam is heavily pregnant, has chosen the Cryonics Institute and even plans to take out a policy for his unborn child. “It costs me £25 a month in premiums to cover the cost of getting cryo-preserved, and that seems a good bet,” he said. “It’s a lot cheaper than joining a gym, which is most people’s way of trying to prolong life.

“If you picture the world in, say, 200 years, when reanimation is possible, it will probably be a wonderful place. I want to sign up the baby so she has the same chance.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Assistant - IT Channel - Graduate

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a Value-Added I...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Guru Careers: Junior Web Developer

£18 - 22k (DOE) + Benefits & Stock Options: Guru Careers: A Junior Developer /...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss