News and Events

August 15, 2014  A recent review appeared in the August 2014 issue of Ageing & Society of Robert N. Butler, MD: Visionary of Healthy Aging by W. Andrew Achenbaum (Columbia University Press, 2013).

August 14, 2014  From The Economist, an interview with the Columbia Aging Center's Associate Director, Ruth Finkelstein:

"The idea that having an aging workforce affects the competitiveness of a country is based on the erroneous assumption that having an aging workforce alone will have a positive or a negative effect. The impact depends entirely on the policies and practices that are in place.  For example, if people work longer, the overall pension and social security costs (the costs to the public of supporting older adults) decline, making labor cheaper overall. Furthermore, if people work longer, they act as consumers longer and at a higher level, which positively impacts economies. There is also increasing evidence that a mix of older and younger workers brings different strengths and skills into the workplace (for example, a mix of technology skills and institutional knowledge), which drives companies’ performances."

For the full interview, please click here.

July 23, 2014  Ursula Staudinger delivered the keynote address at the July 2014 ReServe National Conference.  A compendium from the meetings may be downloaded here.

June 12, 2014  The Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center's International Longevity Center and the Columbia Journalism School will host the Age Boom Academy 2014 from June 12 to 14 this year. The Age Boom Academy is an intensive seminar designed for journalists, editors and producers in all media to gain a deeper understanding of the health, economic, and social issues of aging in America. Nearly 200 journalists have participated in one or more of the annual Academies since its founding in 2000 and this year's Age Boom Academy will explore the Over-65 voters and the Changing Political Landscape.

Click here to learn more information about this workshop.

June 10, 2014  Eight European academies of sciences published a joint statement on demographic change in Europe, in which they urge policymakers to consider how longer working lives demand new, flexible life-course patterns. Also, the academies emphasize that Governments and institutions will need to plan for changes in population against a backdrop of climate change and shortages in natural resources.

June 1, 2014  Dr. Linda Fried discusses the importance of viewing aging through a positive lens in the article titled Making Aging Positive published in The Atlantic. Citing on important research findings and examples, she emphasizes the importance of investing in research and education on aging and health changes across the lifecourse to create successful aging. She also emphasizes the need to recognize old age as a meaningful step in life  and use of longevity as a game-changer for all sectors of society. 
Read the full article by Dr. Fried. 

May 5, 2014  A recent article by Gregory Beyer in The Huffington Post features Ursula Staudinger’s work on wisdom. Dr. Staudinger shares 10 elemental thoughts on what wisdom is, what it isn’t and why it’s so hard to attain. For instance, to move towards wisdom we need to constantly challenge ourselves and the established order of our lives. “It’s going a little bit beyond what you’ve done before, venturing out a little bit into new territory,” she told The Huffington Post. “It has to hurt a little bit — not in a masochistic way — but it has to be effortful.”
Click here to read the article.

April 21, 2014  Please join the Columbia Aging Center along with Perspectives on Aging, the Health of an Aging Society Certificate, and Students Studying Aging for celebrating a great year in aging work and meet others working in the field. The event will be held on Monday, April 21st from 4:00 to 5:30 pm in Riverview Lounge of Hammer Health Sciences building. Refreshments will be served. 

April 9, 2014  The upcoming Berlin Demography Forum 2014 will focus on “Security – Trust – Solidarity”. Emphasis will be put on the public and private security implications of demographic change, and on the question how to keep and reinforce trust and solidarity between our people.Visit the forum website for more information

March 12, 2014  Dr. Ursula Staudinger talks about the concept of wisdom in a recently published article "The Science of Older and Wiser" by Phyllis Korkki in The New York Times. As co-founder of the Berlin Wisdom Project, a research effort that sought to define wisdom in the 1980s, she makes a distinction between general wisdom (understanding life from an observer’s perspective) and personal wisdom (insight into one’s own life). Her model of personal wisdom includes five elements (e.g. self-insight, awareness of life’s ambiguities). Dr. Staudinger’s studies have shown that wisdom in this sense is rarely found in people. Also, wisdom actually declines in the final decades. While many people tend to develop a coping strategy in old age and look back on their lives in a more positive light, a wise person in contrast would acknowledge failures and losses, and still try to improve.
Read the full article featuring Dr. Staudinger here.

Pages