Public Release: 

Engaging seniors with science pays civic dividends

The Gerontological Society of America

Drawing on the SPRY Foundation's "The Longevity Revolution: How Science Centers Can Engage an Older America" conference held in June 2006, the latest issue of Public Policy & Aging Report (PP&AR) presents this event's key insights, outcomes, and resources.

In recent years, both the biological and social sciences have generated remarkable insights centered on the cognitive and adaptive abilities of older adults. Science centers (museums, aquariums planetariums, etc.) provide an environment for older adults to incorporate science into their lives, giving these seniors a set of new experiences and a chance to utilize their skills. In an exciting application of these findings, PP&AR illustrates how such facilities can work together with "the aging network" (organizations funded principally by the Older Americans Act) to benefit both themselves and today's diverse aging population.

Contributors Russell Morgan and David Ellis argue that science centers can provide important intergenerational learning opportunities; Rich Browdie shows how science centers and aging agencies can work together to overcome stereotypes about each; Laura Carstensen reviews new information about the workings of the aging brain; and Greg O'Neill and Linda Harootyan make the case for making better use of a rising generation of older volunteers. The issue also includes a number of short features highlighting innovative science center programs.

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This issue of PP&AR can be purchased at: http://www.agingsociety.org/.

The National Academy on an Aging Society is the policy institute of The Gerontological Society of America, the oldest and largest national multidisciplinary scientific organization devoted to the advancement of gerontological research. Founded in 1945, GSA's membership includes some 5,000+ researchers, educators, practitioners, and other professionals in the field of aging. The Society's principal missions are to promote research and education in aging and to encourage the dissemination of research results to other scientists, decision makers, and practitioners.

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