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Allegations against Aubrey de Grey


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#1 caliban

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Posted 11 August 2021 - 11:56 PM


It is an emotive topic, but I'm seeing some pretty ill-advised commentary on 'both sides', 

 

so here is hoping we can do better on LongeCity and a pre-emptive WARNING that we don't need any hyperbole here 

 

 
 

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#2 Steve H

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 11:14 AM

Early yesterday, LEAF became aware of allegations against Aubrey de Grey, the Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation, of sexual harassment. The allegations were raised by Laura Deming (Longevity Fund) and Celine Halioua (biotech startup Loyal) – via their accounts on Twit­ter and personal websites – claiming inappropriate behavior from Aubrey and other unnamed members of the organization.

Aubrey has issued a statement denying the accusations in a post appearing on his Facebook page. SENS Research Foundation has also issued a statement indicating that they have opened an independent investigation upon first hearing of the allegations in late June, and that Aubrey has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation.

As a news outlet, we are governed by our Ethics Code, which requires us to empower the public by communicating facts. As such, we shall not speculate or pass judgement on the aspects of this story that are currently inconclusive.

Regardless of the outcome of these unfortunate circumstances, it is important that the field of longevity research be a welcome place for all people, that allegations such as this are treated with seriousness, and that proper accountability is held for proven offenses.

We also note that SENS Research Foundation has been a long-time ally of LEAF in its mission to fight age-related disease and is a sponsor of our upcoming EARD conference. Aubrey de Grey is also currently a member of LEAF’s scientific advisory board. As such, we disclose potential conflict of interest when reporting on this case.

 

The post Dr. Aubrey de Grey Faces Allegations of Sexual Harassment first appeared on Lifespan.io.


View the article at lifespan.io


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#3 Kentavr

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 01:42 PM

It seems that this method is used in order to "remove" unnecessary people.

It is very sad that such technologies are used on such people!


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#4 caliban

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Posted 14 August 2021 - 12:04 AM

Anti-agingfoundation’s CEO left amid an investigation of co-founder Aubrey de Grey

→ source (external link)



#5 caliban

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Posted 23 August 2021 - 12:42 AM

:sad:

 

https://twitter.com/...276575195860997

 

https://www.facebook...585470981478355



#6 Mind

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Posted 23 August 2021 - 05:39 PM

What is one to do if there is suspicion of being "set-up" with flimsy accusations? A person could go on a public PR campaign proclaiming innocence and a conspiracy, but another option is to do your own investigation, especially if you don't believe the investigators are impartial.

 

I also view it as suspicious that the accusations came so close to SENS raising 20 million USD. If it was an "open secret" for so many years, why did it take years for the Board to conduct an investigation?

 

At this point, it seems like a negative for radical life extension research. These types of things often unfairly taint a lot of people and companies who have worked with the "offender". Aubrey has been the most persistent voice for radical life extension for a couple of decades. Most other people/scientists/politicians are afraid to speak publicly about radical life extension. I am afraid that if Aubrey is "purged" from life extension research, funding for real REJUVENATION therapies will collapse in favor of marginally effective therapies that slow aging to a small degree.


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#7 Guest

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Posted 26 August 2021 - 11:45 PM

Just to reaffirm this:

 

 

the allegations - even if completely true - are minor compared to anything you read about sexual harassement in the media. Cuomo is way worse - a complete other league. Even if the allegations as publicy known so far are completely true - Aubrey never physically touched anyone and the episodes reported about appear to be rather singular remarks while under the influence of alcohol and not a habit.

 

The problem is the use of the broad term "sexual harassment", which lumps together rapists like Weinstein together with people doing singular verbal remarks (and not even using explicits in the case of Aubrey). If Aubrey would not have been in a position of authority at that time I don't even think there would be any cause for investigation, A handful of creepy remarks, sure - but that itself hardly justifies anything if not done in a position of authority. If it would be just about the remarks to an equal, by that standard (making a handful of creepy remarks to random people over the past 10 years) up to half of american men and women would loose their jobs - just look at the average Tinder-conversation, your daily NYC car commuter stuck in traffic or the suprisingly numerous core Trump-voters.

 

Aubrey is in no way comparable with Cuomo and the rest. Some reprimand, yes. Mandatory awarness training, sure. Putting him on notice for the future, maybe. But treating him like Weinstein or Cuomo? This is excessive.

 

 

Edit:

 

the right thing to do in this situation (interference with the investigation) - given that it's not in fact allegations of physical or habitual occurances and the accusers are no longer at the organisation, nor in physical proximity - would have been to suspend him and put him on leave until the investigation closes. Not fire him and cutting all links to him for good, irrespective of the eventual result of the investigation. That's the procedure at my college and for far more serious allegations and intereference.


Edited by Guest, 27 August 2021 - 12:22 AM.

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#8 caliban

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Posted 29 August 2021 - 03:11 PM

To be clear: Aubrey was fired not because of the allegations but because he was seen to interfere with the investigation.

The SENS board has a legal duty to consider the best interests of the org.

It may have felt that in the moment, faced with a very concerned investigator, this was the only course of action available. It was an unanimous decision after all. 

 

However, I’m sure the majority of the Board also appreciates that this is not some pharma company, where it may be prudent to 'fire swiftly and move on' -- AdG is not just the co-founder of SRF, he coined the very theory which bears its name and - most importantly- he has been the foundation's 'chief rainmaker' right up until the firing (including during his suspension). That would never justify harbouring a 'sexual predator' - but if it turns out that this moniker was false and the grounds for criticism are limited to a few injudicious communications then the above duty also means that the Board has to explore all possibilities for a constructive reconciliation.   

 

Meanwhile the problem may be that Aubrey is 'sitting on hot coals', frustrated and fuming. Never known as someone to keep still, that may lead to further ill-advised social media posts (most recent), and premature speculation, conclusions and actions. AdG has a huge 'fanbase' that very understandably craves information and could be legitimately and positively mobilised. But that requires a proper strategy and timing. In this context, a Board strategy to ‘hunker down’ may also backfire.

In short, the current dynamics have the potential to muddy the waters and exacerbate the situation. 

 

--

NB: Aubrey de Grey has been an Advisor to LongeCity for many years, Kevin Perrot (SRF board member) is a LongeCity Guardian, many SRF staff are members. They are welcome to contribute their thoughts here, but for the reasons mentioned above, I would not expect them to. 

 

 



#9 Guest

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 12:22 AM

As I wrote in my previous reply:

 

I am aware that he was fired because of the interference, thank you very much.

 

 

The standard practice in most major organisations in that case would not have been to fire someone, especially if the sexual harassment accusations under investigation are not of a physical nature or re-occuring (i.e. it is not accusations of "serious behaviour" or an acutal crime, but improper communication out of a position of authority - unlike Cuomo or Weinstein).

 

https://www.shrm.org...cms_000554.aspx

 

https://www.thebalan...mplaint-1916862



#10 caliban

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 05:23 PM

The report has been published 

 

Attached File  SENS-Executive-Summary-For-Public-Release-FINAL-091021-00323152xC0E95.pdf   730.95KB   6 downloads

 

and the SENS Board has issued a statement.   

 

Apparently the investigation continues and a second report is expected. 

 



#11 jroseland

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 08:18 AM

Aubrey de Grey got #MeToo'd? Bummer!

 

This is why my wife is the the only woman I'd work with and why I NEVER spend time alone with women who aren't Mrs. Roseland.


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#12 caliban

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Posted 05 October 2021 - 06:14 PM

A STAT feature has been published 

https://www.statnews...gevity-profile/

 

text (Members only)

 

Aubrey was 'disappointed' about the negative tone - although he had been warned about putting his hopes into the contrary.

 

There is a clear path to getting this matter resolved but that path it is not through aggression at this point.

The onus is on the board to conclude the investigation expeditiously and then formulate a clear strategy as to how reconciliation could be attempted.

If the board were of the final opinion that such a reconciliation is not in the best interest of SRF that would be an extraordinary conclusion in need of a detailed explanation. 

As frustrating as this must be, at this point Aubrey cannot but hurt is case through any public statements. I am glad to read that he is favouring restraint at the moment.           



#13 caliban

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Posted 02 November 2021 - 01:29 PM

The second and final report has been published

 

The SRF Board could not bring itself to draw any conclusions - at least none they want to discuss publicly. 

Yet action must follow this report, otherwise the exercise would have been pointless. 

 

Firstly, I wonder why it is not possible to stand up more forcefully for the organisation's reputation. Firing Aubrey does nothing to remove a lingering impression that everyone and everything in the org was associated with sexual predation.

In my reading of the reports, that taint is wholly unwarranted and more could be done to robustly refute it.    

 

In any event, it is now incumbent on the SRF Board to formulate and actively pursue a strategy of mediation and reconciliation with AdG.

The outcome of such an exercise is uncertain. Both sides may lack the courage, imagination, humility and flexibility required.

AdG may want to only pursue a 'only full reinstatement and exoneration will do' vision, which is unlikely to work- however deserved he and his supporters may feel it to be.

Conversely, the Board may be locked into a risk avoidance mindset where reaching out to AdG in a truly positive manner is seen as too hard - however essential such outreach would be for the continued success of SENS and its mission.

But I really hope that the attempt will be made in good faith and that a solution can be found that reconciles the parties and the organisation with its supporters.   

 

Attached Files



#14 QuestforLife

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 02:42 PM

Well, my monthly direct debit for the past X years has been a contribution to the work inspired and directed by Aubrey de Grey, not some faceless board.

 

Without Aubrey, there is no SENS, and my payments will not continue...



#15 caliban

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Posted 17 November 2021 - 11:07 PM

While SENS RF can rightly be seen as "Aubrey's project",  he would be the first to acknowledge that it can only be a team effort.

 

Not all the Board is 'faceless'  

 

Kevin, has written powerfully on facebook about the tribulations in trying to manage the situation.

Aubrey has since clarified his respect for Board members I hope this means that he is not reluctant to accept mediation attempts.

 

A dialogue is is imperative and the only way forward.

How this might eventually affect the Board and the 'official' role of AdG can be worked out in good time.       






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