Gerontology Expert Speaks at Alma College
The TV ads for anti-aging products guarantee baby-smooth skin, but researcher S. Jay Olshansky contends the promises of extended youth victimize people by giving them false hopes.
Olshansky delivers a free talk "Human by Design" Thursday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Dow Science Center, Skinner Lecture Hall on the Alma College campus. His talk centers on his research into the upper limits to human longevity and investigation of the health and social consequences of aging.
He draws from several of his published manuscripts; The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging, a book he co-authored with Bruce A. Carnes; and a 2001 Scientific American article titled "If Humans Were Built to Last."
Illustrations accompanying his Scientific American article depict a short, stout creature with bigger mobile ears, a curved neck, larger bones and muscles, shorter limbs and stature and backward-bending knees. The illustrations may poke fun at the forever young industry, but drive home a message that evolution works in very unique and sometimes random ways.
The visit is sponsored by the Alma College Exercise and Health Science Department and the Geriatric Education Center of Michigan.
Olshansky has played a critical role in the development of biodemography, a new field of longevity research incorporating the numerical and mathematical treatment of population problems. He has traveled around the world lecturing on aging and was invited to speak at the President's Council on Bioethics in December 2002 to demonstrate how his research has influenced the nation's entitlement programs.
He is a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a research associate at the Center on Aging at the University of Chicago and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
He received his B.A. in psychology from Michigan State University (1975) and his M.A. (1982) and Ph.D. (1984) in sociology from the University of Chicago.
Posted: Mon, January 3rd, 2005 at 4:14PM