"One of humanity’s greatest success stories of the past century is the increase in global life expectancy as a result of the social and medical advancements that have dramatically improved basic living conditions and reduced vulnerability to infectious diseases.
"However, longer lives haven’t fully translated into healthier lives, and as we grow older the likelihood that we will live with debilitating chronic illness rises significantly. In most advanced economies, healthy life expectancy (HLE) has not increased at the same pace as overall life expectancy (LE), and the years that people spend living with disability or disease have risen steadily. In the UK, the situation is alarming. The latest ONS figures show that men can now expect to live 16.5 years in poor health, and women a staggering 19.8 years.
"Beyond unacceptable personal suffering, this places extreme pressure on both health-care systems and the economic models of advanced economies. The problem of aging populations, combined with decreasing birth rates, has been described by demographers and economists as a societal challenge similar in scale to climate change, with enormous impacts looming for many nations if left unaddressed.
"However, a new frontier of science is emerging – longevity research, also referred to as geroscience – that is helping us understand the underlying biological mechanisms of how and why we age, with the potential to develop treatments that delay, prevent or even reverse the onset of aging and multimorbidity. In short, the nature and speed of the aging process, and the aches and pains that accompany it, may not be inevitable. If we can successfully intervene to ensure aging is healthy for as long as possible, then the potential gains in personal, public and economic health would be enormous.
"In this paper, we examine the public-health and economic imperative to act, look at some of the most promising areas of innovation in longevity research across academia and industry, and propose practical actions that governments should take to invigorate this critical but under-resourced area of science.
"Given the profound implications, we believe governments should set ambitious targets: the UK and other advanced economies should aim for '30 in 30' – to increase HLE by 30 years (to approximately 95 years) by 2050."
These words are from the introduction from a recent report from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.
The three lead authors of this report - Karen Hooper, Martin Carkett, and Jess Northend - will be joining London Futurists at this event, making the case why '30 in 30' is not only desirable but also practical, and answering questions from the audience.
** Note that this event will be starting at 2pm UK time (two hours earlier than usual) **
This event will be hosted on Zoom. To register, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eFzZQJ28TESk04lCfUpnRg
The Zoom registration fee (UKP £2.50) helps cover London Futurists running costs. (The Zoom registration page opens a PayPal interface, but there is NO requirement for attendees to use a PayPal account.)
The webinar can also be viewed, without charge, on the London Futurists YouTube channel, but without the option to participate in the live Q&A.
For more info about the report and the speakers, see https://institute.global/policy/live-longer-or-healthier-science-making-both-possible
The webinar will start broadcasting at 2pm UK time on Sat 8th January. To find this time in other timezones, use https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html?iso=20220108T140000&p1=136
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As the discussion proceeds, attendees will be welcome to raise questions and vote to prioritise questions raised by others.
To register for this event, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eFzZQJ28TESk04lCfUpnRg