Notes on religion and spirituality in later life

For some time, I have wondered about the relationship between spirituality/religion and well-being in old age. What kind of evidence is there that they promote good physical and mental health and greater longevity? Read more

COVID-19: The uncertainty of the data and the importance of mild or asymptomatic cases

Since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, we have been overwhelmed by numbers, data and statistics. Right, but what do these statistics and data mean? What do they really tell us? Read more

Corona Virus – Life could never be the same again

Life could never be the same again. For many families life will never be the same as they face the loss of dearly loved family members. For the rest of us, life could change if we start now to build on the initiatives set in place at this time of global emergency.

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So, do experts now know what they are talking about?

On Thursday 23 June 2016 the EU referendum took place and the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. I am sure we all remember either with pain or with pleasure the campaigns of both the Remain and the Leave sides in the lead up to the referendum, and in an endless tsunami of shocking statements.  One of the more shocking statements from a leading politician was from Michael Gove who on 3 June 2016 in a Sky News interview stated that people had had enough of experts. Read more

Finch’s hypothesis – a brief history of escaping death

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

Five ideas for a fast-changing world

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