The future of ageing

Current Project

Current in-depth inquiry

This inquiry is exploring ethical questions in relation to the role of science and technology in helping people live well in old age.

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Terms of reference

1. To explore the ethical implications of the emerging role of biomedical science and technology in helping people live as well as possible in old age, with a particular focus on:

  • a. the way that ageing is conceptualised, and the implications for policy and research;
  • b. The aims of biomedical research and technological innovation in seeking to respond to the opportunities, challenges and implications of the age shift in the population; and the way that these aims, and any alternatives to them, are prioritised;
  • c. the role of diverse older people themselves in driving the research / innovation agenda, and in identifying the needs to which research seeks to respond;
  • d. ethical challenges specific to the conduct of research in this field, including recruitment criteria, selection of meaningful endpoints, and measures of effectiveness;
  • e. issues of equity, within diverse parts of the older population, and between generations;
  • f. issues of personal, familial, professional, societal, and state responsibility; and
  • g. the implications of all these factors for both research and wider social policy.

2. To draft a report and make recommendations relating to policy and practice.