University of Dundee

Exploring the impact of an ageing society

11 Mar 2021

The impact that an ageing population has on the health and wellbeing of individuals, groups, communities and societies, and what we can do to address these challenges, will be the focus of a University of Dundee lecture.

Ageing is a complex process with socio-economic, genetic and environmental drivers. Today, humans around the world are living longer, and while an ever-increasing life expectancy can create opportunities, it also brings challenges. ‘Ageing Society’, the next event of this year’s Saturday Series, brings a variety of University experts together to discuss the issue and look at what can be done to address the challenge of ageing well in today’s world. The event will see Professor Sir Mike Ferguson, Professor Miratul Muqit, Professor Judith Sixsmith and Professor Tim Kelly share their innovative research that responds to the challenges brought about by an ageing population. Journalist and broadcaster Lesley Riddoch will chair the event.

Professor Sir Mike Ferguson is co-founder of the University’s Drug Discovery Unit. His work involves researching the fundamental biology of ageing with the aim of creating medicines that may protect against age-related conditions. “This event is incredibly important because it will look at ageing society in the round – from the individual, societal, economic and technical perspectives,” he said. “The challenges of an ageing society are many and varied. One I would like to focus on are the so-called multi-morbidities of ageing, which is poor health that reduces quality of life of many of our older citizens. A challenge for science and technology in an ageing society is, therefore, to increase health-span. This is about all of us as individuals, either now or in the future, and about the society we live in and want to live in. The pandemic has taught us the wisdom of preparing for future events. Increasingly ageing societies are entirely predictable, now is a good time to get prepared.”

Professor Miratul Muqit is a clinical professor and Programme Leader at Dundee’s Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC-PPU). His research has revolutionised the way Parkinson’s disease is studied. Professor Judith Sixsmith, from the School of Health Sciences, has undertaken a variety of research concerning ageing. Her background is in psychology and sociology with her Professorship in Adult Social Care. Professor Tim Kelly is Dean (Teaching and Research) of the School of Education and Social Work. Tim’s research looks at the care of older people in health and social care settings and improving professional education.

‘Ageing Society’ will take place online on Saturday 13 March 2021, 6pm - 7pm. Free tickets can be booked via Eventbrite.