All organisms die, but not all organisms degrade at the same rate. In some species, death rates accelerate over a short period at advanced ages; others exhibit a slower, sustained loss in population numbers over the course of their lifespans. The term “senescence” describes these patterns as a function of physiological declines that occur with age. For decades, the general pattern of senescence – accelerated late-life mortality – was thought to be the standard rule of life. In the early 1990s, the universality of this thinking was called into question. In the 2000s, plant demographers motivated a more definitive case that patterns in birth and death rates were more diverse than previously recognized. Read more
Last Thursday, I had the privilege of attending the second annual meeting of The Longevity Forum, a relatively new player on the UK’s ageing scene.
As I noted last year when I attended the inaugural event, The Longevity Forum takes a two-pronged approach to the demographic realities of a globally ageing population. It is, on the one hand, interested in the potential for current scientific research to extend the lifespan. But the organisation is also focused on the social and economic implications of this so-called longevity dividend. Read more