Advanced Care Research Centre

Discussing the Future of Ageing 

Our PDRAs and Students recently came together to discuss a new report on Ageing, and how it applies to their research.

In April, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics published their report into the Future of Ageing

This extensively compiled report set out an ethical framework and recommendations for research and innovation related to ageing. The 15 recommendations covered the following areas: 

  • Input into policymaking 

  • Influencing the research agenda 

  • Taking part in research 

  • Supporting interdisciplinary research 

  • Regulation and accreditation 

  • Better links between research and implementation 

  • Promoting interdisciplinary approaches 

The ACRC brought together our PDRAs and students to discuss the recommendations, to see how they might apply to their own research, and if there is anything that they as an individual, or the ACRC as a whole, could do ensure their adoption. 

The group slipped into groups of three for a preliminary discussion, then all joined for a final discussion. 

The most important point made about the recommendations was that they all mattered. There was a clear consensus that the 15 recommendations were well chosen and that each one was significant to everyone’s research. There was an understanding that each researcher needed to take ownership of the 15 when it came to their own research. 

Particular importance was paid to PPIE and ensuring that it is involved from the very beginning of a research cycle. There was also an encouragement for a more diverse group as part of our PPIE network. 

Discussions also looked at policy making, and how it is a crucial part of research. The point of research is to make change, and policy is a key catalyst of change. The same applies to getting research products into global markets, consequently reaching your beneficiaries and making an impact. 

Privacy was another key concept that cropped up, with concerns that it might be considered collateral damage for important health research.  

A final aspect given some consideration was the recommendation ensuring undergraduates gain a rounded multidisciplinary understanding of ageing which would broaden out the impact on the research. 

The group discussed long and hard the importance of these recommendations, and it was made clear that while none of the recommendations were particularly groundbreaking, or unexpected, they did bring ideas into focus, and provide clarity of purpose. 

Our next PDRA student discussion will take on a similar format and take place next semester. 

group discussing

You said, we did: 

On being asked the question, ‘What can the ACRC do?” Some solutions were presented: 

Diversify the PPIE network – it an ongoing target to diversify the PPIE network, and since the meeting, new opportunities have been sought to reach wider groups. 

Offer more multidisciplinary training – members of AIM CISC are to be sent the weekly roundup from the ACRC comms team which contains details of training opportunities. ACRC are also discussing the possibilities of working with The Edinburgh Future’s Institute, a new academic body at the University focused on an interdisciplinary, data driven and future focused approach.  

Provide more opportunities for facilitated discussion – these sessions are returning to be in-person and on a regular basis., and other meetings take place throughout the year 

Watch this space.