GYA Conference Statement: Aging Should Not Be Synonymous with Decline and Frailty

Tue, July 31, 2018

July 2018 – Young scientists and scholars from more than 50 countries came together in May at the Global Young Academy’s 8th Annual General Meeting and International Conference for Young Scientists in Thailand to discuss challenges and possibilities for sustainable and healthy aging.

During the conference, GYA members, Thai scientists and other notable speakers raised and discussed pressing issues related to new patterns of global economic and population development. Indeed, some regions of the world are experiencing rapid growth rates (e.g. Africa), and the number of people aged 60 and above worldwide is projected to be 2.1 billion in 2050, and 3.1 billion in 2100.[1]

GYA members have finalised a Conference Statement (available here aging/), outlining four recommendations from the international, interdisciplinary perspective of young scientists and scholars in support of a sustainable approach to healthy aging: 

Aging populations as a growing global resource

We should strive for communities in which older adults are respected, and their knowledge, skills, resources, and contributions are sought out and valued.

The global and local are intimately connected

There are global insights to be gained from local or traditional values, practices, technologies and interventions.

A combined effort is required

We need to draw from across and within disciplinary perspectives, theories, and methods, in dialogue with both industry and the arts.

Global perspectives needed

It is vital to widen the centres of discussion, particularly across and between the Global North and South.

This GYA Statement emphasises the need to reframe issues surrounding aging and to recognise and foster links between global and local developments. The GYA is well placed to contribute to these discussions and to inspire others to take charge of this age-friendly future, individually and at a societal level.

Following the international conference in Thailand, the GYA and its members continue to be active in the field of health. The GYA Working Group ‘Global Health’ unites prominent young researchers from all over the world in discussions about global health policies (in relation to clinical medicine, public health, environmental health and social studies of health and illness).


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[1] United Nations World Population Prospects, the 2017 Revision.