February 19, 2004 • Volume 12 Number 11

Lecture by PBS Correspondent Highlights Aging Conference

A lecture by Public Broadcasting Service television correspondent Paul Solman will highlight the Boston College Initiatives on Aging conference on "Public Policy and Responsibility Across the Generations" on March 15 and 16.

Solman, business and economics correspondent for PBS' "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," will speak on "The Methuselah Crisis: The Costs and Benefits of Immortality" on March 15 at 4 p.m. in McGuinn 121. This event is free and open to the public.

Other conference sessions, open to professionals in disciplines involved in the science and ethics of aging, will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Newton.

Funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Boston College Jesuit Institute, the conference is the second of three annual events organized and hosted by the University's Initiatives on Aging program. The 2003 Initiatives on Aging conference addressed end of life issues. Next year's event will focus on aging, genetic technology and the future, said Rachel Pruchno, director of the Initiatives on Aging program and co-chair of the conference.

"There are a host of public policy issues that our aging society is just beginning to face," said Pruchno. "This raises a host of questions and challenges that previous generations of people never faced. The goal of this conference is to bring professionals from various disciplines together in order to begin a truly multidisciplinary dialog about end of life issues. As our society continues to age, these issues will affect the lives of thousands of older people, their family members, and professionals."

Among other topics, attendees at this year's conference will discuss challenges that face a democratic society with the growth of an elderly population and the impact on families in the next decade. Other issues to be spotlighted include economic returns of improved access to drug therapy for Medicare beneficiaries, alternatives for resolving the impending Social Security financing crisis and ethical issues raised by long term care.

Conference presenters will outline state-of-the-art knowledge about each issue, identify gaps, and suggest avenues for future research.

Joining Pruchno as conference co-chairs are Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean and Associate Vice President of Research Michael A. Smyer and Prof. Patrick Byrne (Philosophy).

Additional information on the conference and lecture is available from the Initiatives on Aging office at ext.2-1471.

-Reid Oslin

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