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UCL’s Festival of Ageing

  • October to December 2013
  • Includes a £10,000 research prize workshop
  • Convened by Nick Tyler
    Director, UCL Crucible, Chadwick Professor of Civil Engineering, UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering
  • Organised by UCL Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing and UCL Crucible

    In March 2013 a House of Lords report, Ready for Ageing warned that the UK is ‘woefully underprepared for ageing’.  Some of the report’s projections about ageing include:

  • There will be 51% more people aged 65 and over in England in 2030 compared to 2010
  • There will be 101% more people aged 85 and over in England in 2030 compared to 2010
  • 10.7 million people in Great Britain can currently expect inadequate retirement incomes
  • There will be over 50% more people with three or more long-term conditions in England by 2018 compared to 2008
  • There will be over 80% more people aged 65 and over with dementia (moderate or severe cognitive impairment) in England and Wales by 2030 compared to 2010.

[source: Office for National Statistics, quoted in Ready for Ageing.

UCL’s Festival of Ageing will address some of the questions that arise from an ageing population but which straddle traditional disciplinary boundaries.  By encouraging cross-disciplinary conversation and collaboration, UCL hopes to create new perspectives, which will guide and deepen our knowledge of ageing in future years.

The festival will begin with a lecture from Margaret Lock, McGill University, entitled 'Alzheimer Enigma in an Ageing World' which will explore the significance of risk predictions associated with biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease, and the irresolvable uncertainties such information raises for involved individuals and families.  UCL’s Crucible Centre, in conjunction with the International Longevity Centre-UK, will consider the implications of people working longer in an ageing society. In a special guest lecture Richard Miller (University of Michigan) will ask ‘The Search for Drugs That Slow Ageing - Are We There Yet? and Why Not?’ The festival will conclude with a research prize workshop, which will award a £10,000 grant to the best cross-disciplinary project.

I’m sure that you will find the programme to be a positive and creative contribution to ageing research and one which underlines UCL’s commitment to looking beyond traditional institutional boundaries to address the big questions that confront us.

Nick Tyler, September 2013


24 October 2013
The Alzheimer Enigma in an Ageing World
A lecture by Margaret Lock, McGill University, Montreal
Alzheimer’s disease is increasingly described today as an epidemic, with estimates of 115 million cases worldwide by 2050.  This lecture will explore the significance of risk predictions associated with biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease , and the irresolvable uncertainties such information raises for involved individuals and families.
Further details and registration.

6 November 2013
Working Longer in an Ageing Society
An UCL/International Longevity Centre-UK discussion 
According to latest ONS figures, the average age at which people retire is rising. In addition, government is keen to promote an extension of working lives due to the fiscal pressures of population ageing. However, working into later life is more complex than simply delaying the official retirement age; influential factors will also cause particular changes as society as whole grows older.

‘Working Longer in an Ageing Society’ is a panel discussion focussing on the issues of extending working lives. Organised and chaired by the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK), this event will feature perspectives from UCL academics and representatives from Carers UK to explore some of the salient issues related to working to later ages, with particular awareness of the role that health and wellbeing play. 

The speakers will be:
Brian Beach, ILC-UK
Prof Diana Kuh, UCL
Ms Jenny Head, UCL
Ms Katherine Wilson, Carers UK

Register here

6 November 2013
Bright Ideas
Bright Ideas is a one-off event for researchers and PhD students. In front of a live audience, each speaker will spend three minutes describing a challenge the world faces, and how their BRIGHT IDEA can help. After the presenters have shared their idea they will be lightly questioned by a panel including representatives from academia, industry, community, media and the research councils. The audience then has a chance to mingle and debate the issues before voting on what they’d like to support right there on the spot. Contact Roselle Thoreau

7 November 2013
Lifelong Health and Wellbeing and New Dynmanics of Ageing Research Showcase
Researchers from across the UK will be showcasing their research at this lively interactive exhibition. 12 different research groups from England, Wales and Scotland will have exhibits and will be on hand to explain what the research is about and why it is important to an ageing society. Wine and canapes will be available. This will be a ticketed event. Tickets will be free but will be limited. Register here

28 November 2013
Solving the mystery of the biology of ageing
A lecture by David Gems, Professor of Biogerontology, Institute of Healthy Ageing, UCL
Recent advances in biogerontology (the biology of ageing) have identified many genes and pathways where intervention in animals can decelerate ageing, which results in partial resistance to a wide spectrum of ageing-related diseases, and an increase in healthy lifespan. This raises the prospect of a new, preventative approach in humans to the disease that is ageing to improve late-life health in the future. Further details and registration 

5 December 2013 
The Search For Drugs That Slow Ageing - Are We There Yet? and Why Not?

A lecture by Richard Miller, Professor of Pathology, Medical School, University of Michigan
Nearly everyone who does medical research works on one disease at a time: cancer, or AIDS, or Alzheimer's, or what have you. One problem with this approach is that even dramatic success would do surprisingly little to improve human health: a complete cure for human cancer, for example, would extend average human lifespan by about 2.6 years, i.e. only about 3%. Further details and registration

9 December 2013
The Accessibility Symposium (day one):
Measuring Accessibility by Mapping Mobility Case Studies Presentations

The morning will hear keynote speeches on how to improve accessibility, sensor and mapping software, health and well-being of cities, measuring mobility and the policy requirements of enabling accessibility. The afternoon will be devoted to hearing case studies which will be showcased and open to the public. An evening reception will follow the end of proceedings of the first day of the symposium. Sponsored by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) London Symposium Scheme.
Further details and registration

Thursday, 12 & Friday, 13 December 2013 
£10,000 Ageing Prize Workshop: Keeping people active, independent and well in later life
Unique opportunity for UCL researchers to spend one and a half days working in cross-disciplinary project groups formulating research proposal that will address the problem of ‘keeping people active, independent and well in later life’.  The best project will be awarded an attractive research prize to support work over a 12 month period.
Convened by Nick Tyler and Kate Walters, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Primary Care & Epidemiology, UCL ( Royal Free Campus). Further details and online application form.  This event forms part of UCL's Festival of Ageing.

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