ISLM #9 | Chip Walter | Renegades, Billions, and The Quest to Live Forever

Chip Walter

“[Cheating death]...It's the ultimate moonshot.”
– Chip Walter

My long-time friend Chip Walter is an author, journalist, National Geographic Explorer, filmmaker, and was one of CNN’s first and youngest bureau chiefs whose travels have taken him to six continents. His books, including one co-written with Star Trek's original Captain Kirk, William Shatner, all explore scientific topics at the intersection of human behavior and technology’s rapid advances.

His latest book is Immortality, Inc.--Renegade Science, Silicon Valley Billions and the Quest to Live Forever, written for National Geographic Books.  It's a fascinating read chronicling a new, audacious group of scientists, doctors, researchers, and entrepreneurs who are attempting to even the score and discover how we can all live at least hundreds of more years longer than ever thought possible. It’s the story of big money, big ideas, and big egos who are either really on to something or will soon get relegated to the junk heap of dreamers who came before them.

In this episode, we talk about why radical life extension might actually be possible this time, the great debates we should be having now if we really could live almost forever, whether madness and genius are inexorably linked, and what Chip has learned throughout his fascinating career. In addition, we talk about Chip and his wife’s audacious plan to embark on their own epic, once-in-a-lifetime, not-sure-ever-tried-before journey around the world.

Please enjoy this mind-bending and inspiring episode of In Search of Lost Mojo with the perhaps "The Most Interesting Man in the World", Chip Walter!

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Want to hear another episode of an expert on longevity and the secrets of health span?  Check out this episode with Masters Athlete researcher and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Vonda Wright!

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What would you do if you knew that you could live for another 100 years?  Please let me know in the comments!

Scroll below for links and show notes…


Learn more about Chip Walter at his Personal Website



  • Show intro [0:00-3:47]
  • How has writing Immortality, Inc. changed Chip's own life? [3:48]
  • What's happening now in the world of longevity research that gives us a glimpse into the future? [6:36]
  • What is Calico and how did it get established? [9:29]
  • Is there a common thread that characterizes the leading minds trying to cheat death? [11:44]
  • What is Alcor and what's the controversial way that it claims to extend lifespan? [18:49]
  • What does Ted Williams, baseball's last .400 hitter, have to do with life extension? [20:43]
  • What are the great debates we should be having if scientific advances in longevity start to pay off? [28:47]
  • What would Chip do with another 50 years of healthy and productive life? [35:31]
  • How much of Chip's eclectic and highly successful career was planned, luck, or just plain survival? [36:36]
  • What it was like to work at CNN at the very beginning of the first 24-hour news channel [40:14]
  • Advice that Chip would have given to himself 40 years ago when CNN first went on the air [42:20]
  • Chip's plans for his upcoming epic journey of a lifetime and the essence of adventure [46:14]
  • Chip's upcoming novel on immortality and other projects in the works [59:56]
  • What else Chip would like listeners to take away from this interview [1:02:14]
  • Where to find out more about Chip and his work [1:06:16]