Message from the Director

Dear Friends,

Laura L. Carstensen, PhD Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor in Public Policy, Professor of Psychology & Founding Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity

Laura L. Carstensen, PhD
Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor in Public Policy, Professor of Psychology & Founding Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity

As we complete the Stanford Center on Longevity’s eighth year, we look back on an array of interdisciplinary conferences (with topics ranging from prevalence of financial fraud, to working longer and retirement, to retirement plan designs, to mobilizing encore talent in service to vulnerable children and youth.) We taught our undergraduate longevity course for the 5th time, enrolling about 140 students who engaged enthusiastically with the subject. We launched our first ever Design Challenge, on the subject of “Maximizing Independence for those with Cognitive Impairment” which received 52 submissions from 31 universities representing 15 countries. The first place prize was awarded to Sha Yao from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco for her design “EatWell,” which was a carefully researched tableware set designed for those with Alzheimer’s disease. We welcomed Dr. Philip Pizzo’s Distinguished Careers Institute to the Center – this exciting new program will enroll its first class of students in January 2015. Our Distinguished lecturer for the academic year was Paul Taylor, speaking about his provocative new book, The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown.

We continue to organize our work within three research divisions – MindMobility and Financial Security. We believe that to the degree that people reach old age mentally sharp, physically fit and financially secure, aging societies will thrive. Demographic analysis informs our work at all levels, and our unique “launch” conferences bring together academic collaborators with business, government and non-profit leaders to find solutions to longevity challenges. We work closely with collaborators across the country and at Stanford, with the goal of making sure that research findings do not stay locked away in academia but instead reach the people who can most benefit from them. We continue to be sought after for expert input, and are regularly featured in leading media outlets.

In the past year, we developed a Corporate Affiliates program, and we are encouraged by the response and support of our new corporate members. We thank Jim Johnson, Chair of the Advisory Council, for his extraordinary leadership as well as the many generous donors and supporters of the Center’s work.  It is a great pleasure and privilege to work with the scores of Stanford faculty, students and postdoctoral fellows who shape the Center’s research agenda.

Sincerely, 


Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor in Public Policy, Professor of Psychology & Founding Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity