‘Why 40 is the New 30’ – openpop.org at the Ashmolean Museum’s LiveFriday Event

Tonight at Oxford’s Ashmolean museum, the University’s Social Science Division is taking over! There will be a series of events, workshops, demonstration and talks as well as dance, music and other performances. The event is running from 7pm to 10:30pm.


As part of this event, openpop.org and the Department of Social Policy and Intervention (in collaboration with the Reassessing Aging from a Population Perspective project based at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and Stony Brook University, New York) at is hosting a special series of activities designed to encourage the public to ‘rethink age and ageing’.

We are all familiar with the challenge of population ageing and are frequently told about how it is likely to be a major threat to our future prosperity through the costs of welfare and health as well as through productivity. We will be having a special survey which aims to find out what people know about the demographic background to the ‘pensions crisis’ in the UK and trying to explain the role of tremendous changes in not only life expectancy at older ages but also across the entire adult life span. We will be exploring the results of this in a post which will be published as part of our ‘Rethinking ageing’ series due to begin next week.

In another activity, we will be exploring the concept of ’40 as the new 30’ – in terms of the remaining life expectancy of a 30 year old in the (surprisingly recent) past being the same as a 40 year old today. Using this new demographic ‘fact’ we try to introduce museum visitors to the concept of ‘prospective ageing’ as a better means of comparing ages over time and space. Come and find out how ‘old’ you would have been in Britain in 1950 and 2050 as well as in countries with very and low mortality. We will also have plenty of information concerning papers written on the subject available to give away (as well as some openpop.org pens and bags!)

We hope to see you there later on!

This entry was posted in Ageing by Stuart Gietel-Basten. Bookmark the permalink.
Stuart Gietel-Basten

About Stuart Gietel-Basten

Dr. Stuart Gietel-Basten is currently Associate Professor in Social Policy at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at the University of Oxford. He is also a Research Fellow of the Social Policy and Risk Society Research Centre, National Taiwan University; the Finnish Population Research Institute and the European Research Centre on Contemporary Taiwan, Universität Tübingen. Former places of employment include IIASA, European University Institute and he received his PhD from the University of Cambridge. His research interests revolve around the fertility and ageing in Asia, as well as theoretical approaches to why people have children in the twenty-first century.

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