X-Message-Number: 23758
From: "Kitty Antonik Wakfer" <>

Subject: Getting Aubrey's PhD Straight [Was: RE: Getting wacked by the Wakfers &
FDGF booth
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 01:59:18 -0700

> Message #23746
> Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2004 09:37:58 -0800
> From: "John Grigg" <>
> Subject: Getting wacked by the Wakfers & FDGF booth
> Rudi, you may not have MEANT to become a target, but... LOL  I
> can see why Kitty took offense and I'm surprised you did not
> realize what your writing seemed to strongly imply.  Considering
> the time couples spend together, it does not surprise me that
> their thoughts and even writing styles become at times quite similar.
> It looks like if Paul Wakfer has all those good qualities you
> mentioned, that he married a gal with similar traits.  After all,
> tigers mate with other tigers(and even paper tigers can give bad
> papercuts)!

I thank John for seeing and understanding what some here did not and
possibly will not.

> The matter regarding Aubrey deGrey's credentials is very
> important and I agree with Kitty on how vital it is to have total
> honesty in regards to such things.  Dr. deGrey's work & efforts
> are very laudable, but it would take just one journalist to rend
> him apart in an article on this subject, and we as a result might
> lose a major proponant of our cause due to the ugly aftermath.
> I realize Dr. deGrey lives in a world where credentials are
> worshipped and a key to accessing certain circles.  I admit that
> even without a biology related doctorate he could still do great
> things, but he must be careful.  I wonder if he has considered
> going back to school to get a biology Phd?  Perhaps he feels he
> no longer has the time.

I emailed John privately when I saw his message in the queue to point out
that he had made an error above re. Aubrey. However, he made no correction
"The error you have made in your message is the subject matter of Aubrey's
PhD. In my first response to Aubrey (#23641), I acknowledged my (and Paul's)
error in assuming that his PhD was in computer science and attained prior to
Paul's first interchanges with him in 1997 - and reasonable due to Aubrey's
failure to have any subject or dates listed for any of his 3 degrees, and
his own statements re. his background in computer science. His PhD is in
gerontology - acknowledged also by his supervisor on the FlyBase Project at
Cambridge (remember the email from him I copied into my post #23654).
Gerontology is defined as: "a scientific study of the phenomena of aging and
of the problems of the aged" (Merriam Webster unabridged online); this
subject definitely requires considerable coursework and research in the area
of biology - it is a specialty of human biology. Aubrey's theoretical
research work on the mitochondrial theory of aging (with which Paul was
familiar and for which Aubrey is well-known) also served as his doctoral
thesis - which Aubrey made clear to me in this exchange with him. What
Aubrey does *not* have is any first-hand scientific background in
cryobiology, the scientific basis for cryonics. This is what I was
attempting to make very clear to readers of CryoNet in post# 23682 (in
archives only, http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/dsp.cgi?msg=23682) by
questioning the purpose by Alcor of having Aubrey testifying for them to an
Arizona legislative committee. You might want to post a follow-up correction
to your message in the queue before someone blasts you for "failure to check
your facts"."

In many universities, no specific courses are required for a PhD student in
some subject areas, if he/she is can demonstrate sufficient knowledge -
there will sometimes be a second language requirement, sometimes an oral
knowledge examination requirement, but always a thesis and an oral exam in
regards to that thesis. A thesis necessitates a thesis advisor, the member
of the graduate school faculty who is the supervisor of the PhD candidate.

I've just checked and see that the links I provided in message #23641still
do not provide the information re. the subject of Aubrey's degrees including
his PhD. Nor is there any distinction made re. the situation of Aubrey's
employment at Cambridge vs. his independent theoretical biogerontological
research (his "work") -  the descriptions are not any different than they
were.  So there will continue to be people mislead on these matters.

**Kitty Antonik Wakfer

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