CHERTSEY, England, November 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The Age Crunch - facts, fears and the future
Chaired by Lord Robert Winston
Royal Institution of Great Britain, Tuesday 19th November 2013, 7pm
To be webcast live: http://www.innovationdebate.com
Campaigner and politician Baroness Sally Greengross will be joining a panel of internationally recognised experts for the 2nd Astellas Innovation Debate: The Age Crunch - facts, fears and the future, taking place on 19th November at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Following the success of the inaugural Astellas Innovation Debate, staged at the Royal Society in November last year and focusing on how to nurture the scientific innovators of the future, this year's debate moves the spotlight from young scientists to the ageing population - an issue of decisive and urgent importance.
Watch the video of Baroness Sally Greengross discussing the challenges of an ageing population http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkCvJYYN9KU
Baroness Sally Greengross, a crossbench (independent) member of the House of Lords and Chief Executive of the International Longevity Centre - UK, commented:
"It is an extraordinary achievement - and it's the first time in the history of mankind - that people are living to the ages they do today, and that we have more older people than young in our society. But we must recognise that our services were not designed to meet the needs of an ageing population. If we don't change our health, social care and employment practice, then - instead of celebrating this huge achievement - we could become overwhelmed by the challenges an ageing population brings."
"On top of this, ageism aggravates the problems we face as we adjust to an ageing society, and there is still a lot of negativity about growing old. As a society, we tend to focus on youth and beauty, and on what's cool and cutting-edge, while older people are seen as elderly, frail and dependent. Yet most older people are fit enough to be active members society, whether that's as paid workers, volunteers, or carers. Even those who do need care and support play a part in creating jobs that feed into the economy. We need to change our attitudes and to stop defining age by the number of birthday candles we have on a cake. If we are to embrace and celebrate ageing, then age must not be perceived as a divisive factor - it must become irrelevant."
Joining Baroness Greengross, will be Nobel prize-winning biologist, Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn; world-renowned expert on the biology of ageing, Professor Tom Kirkwood CBE, Dean for Ageing & Director of Newcastle Initiative on Changing Age (NICA) at the University of Newcastle, and economist Professor John Appleby, Chief Economist at the Kings Fund.
Chaired by Lord Robert Winston, Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London, The Astellas Innovation Debate 2013 will explore the role of innovation as society faces critical challenges resulting from an ageing population. The central issues under discussion will be:
- How best can we support older people in the UK and Europe?
- How can we rethink our approach to welfare and healthcare to tackle the major age-associated diseases?
- How will an ageing society be funded and whose responsibility should it be?
- How can innovation help society to value older people and help older people to make an active contribution?
Lord Robert Winston commented:
"Over the last 150 years, improved standards of living and advances in medical science have doubled our life expectancy. Today, with people in affluent countries expecting to live well into their 80s, life expectancy is increasing by more than five hours a day for every day we live. This is a remarkable achievement and should be cause for celebration. But our older populations have health and welfare needs, and these needs are likely to grow. At the Astellas Innovation Debate 2013, we will explore how we might rethink our approach to welfare and healthcare, and we will ask what role scientific ingenuity can play in an ageing society, turning old age into a new age."
The aim of the Astellas Innovation Debate 2013 will be to explore, through thought-provoking discussion, how we can drive economic and social transformation by celebrating the over-65s - as workers, volunteers and carers, consumers and investors.
For further information, visit our website http://www.innovationdebate.com, or join the debate on Twitter @innovatedebate #AgeCrunch
Notes to editors
The Astellas Innovation Debate is to be chaired by Lord Robert Winston, Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London.
Confirmed panelists include:
Professor John Appleby Chief Economist at the King's Fund since 1998 and a visiting professor at the Department of Economics at City University, London
Dr Elizabeth Blackburn Morris Herzstein Professor in Biology and Physiology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco,
Nobel Prize winner in Physiology of Medicine in 2009 and a leader in the area of telomere and telomerase research.
Baroness Sally Greengross A crossbench (independent) member of the House of Lords since 2000 and chair of five All-Party Parliamentary Groups, Chief Executive of the International Longevity Centre (ILC) - UK; Co-President of the ILC Global Alliance.
Professor Tom Kirkwood Dean for Ageing & Director of Newcastle Initiative on Changing Age (NICA) at the University of Newcastle.
About The Astellas Innovation Debate
The Astellas Innovation Debate, organised and funded by Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd., explores the role of innovation in modern society.
This year's event, The Age Crunch: Facts fears and the future, at the Royal Institution of Great Britain on 19th November 2013, is bringing together influential and respected figures from the worlds of science, government, medicine, economics, industry and the media as they tackle the major issues surrounding scientific innovation today and tomorrow. The aim of The Innovation Debate is to air crucial issues, draw positive conclusions and to move the agenda forward.
Everyone - professionals in science, medicine and industry, and the general public - will have the opportunity to engage with The Astellas Innovation Debate through online media which will take discussions far beyond the walls of the Royal Institution of Great Britain.
The inaugural Innovation Debate at The Royal Society in London in November 2012, focused on innovation in a time of austerity and nurturing the innovators of the future. Under the chairmanship of Professor Jim Al-Khalili it brought together panellists such as Nobel laureate Professor Sir Andre Geim, physicist Professor Brian Cox and Professor Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in Economics at the University of Sussex.
About Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd.
Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd., located in the UK, is the European headquarters of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceuticals. The organisation's focus is to deliver outstanding R&D and marketing to continue growing in the world pharmaceutical market. Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. is responsible for 21 affiliate offices located across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, an R&D site and three manufacturing plants. The company employs approximately 4,350 staff across these regions. For more information about Astellas Pharma Europe, please visit http://www.astellas.eu.
SOURCE Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd