July 13, the main event of the once-in-ten-years White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) took place (with the participation of US President): http://www.whitehouseconferenceonaging.gov/
As expected, there was next to nothing at the WHCOA about aging research. At an early (April) local WHCOA meeting in Phoenix, the director of the National Institute on Aging – Dr. Richard Hodes spoke a few minutes about the genetics of Alzheimer’s, and the possibility and need for its early detection. But apparently that was about it.
There was virtually nothing about research at the main event. Still, there were a few positive moments in a discussion of Healthy Aging, for example, when the 65 year old athlete Diana Nyad (who recently swam 177 km from Cuba to Florida) announced her plans for a million people strong campaign to promote physical activity and physical education in the US, especially walking, to create “a nation of walkers”, or the US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy speaking about the importance of preventive medicine, creating the “culture of prevention” (especially from the grass roots level) and the plans to issue state recommendations for healthy aging in 2016. Yet, biomedical research was virtually absent from the conference, and it is very likely that it is currently absent from those plans. Of course, the issue could have been raised much more. And of course, the longevity community could have done more to raise this issue. As someone suggested, we should have been demonstrating near the White House, trying to get ourselves shown on TV, on that occasion. 🙂
But still some outreach was done.
Thanks to all who tweeted and supported! Hopefully, more will be done in the next actions – for example the forthcoming October 1 – the International Longevity Day – the International Day of Older People, which is already gathering support in several countries and can be a great opportunity to address the issue of longevity research to the public and decision makers.
Hopefully, more will be done in the next actions – for example the forthcoming October 1 – the International Longevity Day – the International Day of Older People, which is already gathering support in several countries and can be a great opportunity to address the issue of longevity research to the public and decision makers. Thanks!
On Facebook: International Longevity Alliance
Dr. Ilia Stambler is the Outreach Coordinator for the International Society on Aging and Disease (ISOAD)