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Board Member in the News: NY Times features Steven Austad on how the election challenges perceptions of aging

Sep 30
2016

Board Member in the News: NY Times features Steven Austad on how the election challenges perceptions of aging View MoreBACK

On September 29th, 2016, The New York Times ran an Op Ed by acclaimed contributor Gail Collins, featuring insights from AFAR Scientific Director Steven N. Austad, PhD. The column tackles ageism and the question of whether at 68 and 70 years old, respectively, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump’s age should be a consideration towards evaluating their presidential candidacy.

Austad notes that with new lifespan and healthspan expectations the candidates’ age may help rather than hurt them. Being so close in age, the candidates have largely been shielded what otherwise could have been a more contentious topic. Dr. Austad continued to explain that as life and health expectations have gotten longer, researchers have changed their definition of old age.  He states, “Seventy is the new 50. That’s not just a cliché. It really is a reasonable statement these days.”

Steven N. Austad, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor and Department Chair at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

For more analysis of public perceptions on aging, explore Gauging Aging: Mapping the Gaps between Expert and Public Understanding of Aging in America.  Sponsored by AFAR along with seven of other of the nation’s leading aging-focus organizations, the report reveals key obstacles to the public’s ability to access and apply expert perspectives in thinking about adult aging.  Read the full report here.

How you can take a stand against ageism?  Join our partners for the 26th International Day of Older Persons at the United Nations Event on Thursday, October 6, 2016 in NYC.  Learn more here.  For more on the UN International Day of Older Persons follow #UNIDOP on twitter.





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