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New MacArthur network to examine impact of aging society
Date:11/20/2008

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is creating a new inter-disciplinary research network to help America prepare for the challenges and opportunities posed by our aging society. In the middle of the next decade, the United States will become an aging society, one feature of which is that those over age 60 will outnumber those under age 15. Although the nation will become increasingly gray in subsequent decades, we are not well prepared to deal with the myriad consequences of this impending reality.

"By 2050, American society may well have more walkers than strollers," said MacArthur Vice President Julia Stasch, who announced the Network in remarks at The Gerontological Society of America's 61st Annual Scientific Meeting. "This new research network will address the broad social implications of this uncharted demographic territory, examining questions like: how can a large, longer-living, elderly population maintain its productivity and contribute to its well-being and society's? How will it change our economy, our culture, our politics? Over time, will America look better, worse, or just different? And how can public policies in immigration, work force development, health care, and others and reform of our civic institutions affect our future in a positive direction?"

The MacArthur Research Network on an Aging Society, supported by a three-year, $3.9 million MacArthur grant, will be chaired by Dr. John Rowe, Professor at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and former CEO of Aetna. In the 1990s, Rowe chaired MacArthur's Network on Successful Aging, which found that most of the factors that predict successful aging are not solely genetic but at least equally related to lifestyle. The Network published a best-selling book, Successful Aging.

"Much prior work in this area has focused on the economic implications of the looming demographic transition, including the increasing burden of ent
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Contact: Andy Solomon
asolomon@macfound.org
312-726-8000
The Gerontological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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