CHERTSEY, England, November 15, 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
Australian/American Nobel Laureate Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn 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.
Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Morris Herzstein Professor in Biology and Physiology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, and the foremost expert on telomeres, the protective caps on our chromosomes, commented:
"Telomere length is one statistical predictor of when we are likely to die. If we take a population and look at their telomeres, we have a very real indicator, certainly within a few years, of the probability of dying. And it's not just mortality, diseases are also affected. For example, you have twice the likelihood of developing diabetes in the next five years if you have short telomeres."
However, Dr. Blackburn warns don't expect a magic cure around the corner for eternal youth.
"Every huckster in the world has been out there with this, that and the other for increasing youthfulness. First thing is to be very afraid. But if you do want to live a longer life with healthy ageing, then do what your mother told you, sleep well, eat well, try to maintain a good attitude and social support and get some exercise."
Alongside Dr. Blackburn, whose Nobel-Prize-winning work explored the biology of ageing, will be broadcaster and journalist Baroness Joan Bakewell; campaigner and politician Baroness Sally Greengross; Professor John Appleby, Chief Economist at the King's Fund; Professor Tom Kirkwood, Dean for Ageing at the University of Newcastle and Professor Tim Eisen, Professor of Clinical Oncology at the University of Cambridge.
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 to help older people make an active contribution?
The aim of the Astellas Innovation Debate 2013 will be to explore, through thought-provoking discussion, whether the scientific ingenuity that played a key role in creating an ageing society can now provide innovative solutions to drive economic and social transformation - turning old age into a new age.
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 panellists 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 or Medicine in 2009 and a leader in the area of telomere and telomerase research.
Baroness Joan Bakewell Broadcaster and journalist Joan Bakewell presents Radio 3's Belief and Radio 4's Inside the Ethics Committee. She was the government appointed 'Voice of Older People' between 2008 and 2010 and in November 2010 she was made a working peer in the House of Lords.
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.
Professor Tim Eisen Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Cambridge.
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