The Politics, Scholars and the Public program aims to inform policy decisions that impact longevity with empirical findings and research-driven proposals. The program brings together political experts, scholars and voters in a search for sensible solutions to current societal challenges. Work to date has focused on health care issues facing the United States, and on the issues facing individuals and communities as greater numbers of Americans “age in place.”


In collaboration with Henry Cisneros, the Center has edited a book, Independent for Life: Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging Amercia, (UT Press, 2012), in which twenty-six authors assess the current state of housing for older Americans and present new possibilities that realistically address the interrelated issues of housing, communities, services and financial concerns. Read more


The Center, together with the University of Michigan School of Social Work and with funding from the Met Life Mature Markets Institute, is working to develop a practical and easy to use indicator system to measure the ability of a community to enable sustainable aging in place. We are defining aging in place as the ability of individuals to remain in their own home and community if they choose to do, in spite of potential changes in later life.

The goals for this project are: first, to research and identify the consensus among experts about which are the most important strategies for successful aging in place and second, to select or develop indicators to measure progress toward these strategies. The end product will be white paper that outlines the indicator system, describing the ways in which the system is most critical in measuring aging in place.


Over the last year, with funding from the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, the Center created an educational game, “Save the USS/USA” designed to help Americans better understand policy trade offs in solving the nation’s fiscal crisis.  The game was a collaboration with the Stanford Center on Health Policy, with valuable contributions from Professor Dana Goldman Of USC, and the Kaiser Family Foundation. In an interactive game format, the player is Captain of the ship, the USS/USA. As Captain, the player makes value based choices about defense and domestic spending.  However, these choices will not save the ship of state from economic peril unless the player Captain also makes difficult decisions about federal spending on health care.