Professor Anthea Tinker
Professor of Social Gerontology
Institute of Gerontology,
Global Health & Social Medicine
Date started at King’s
Challenges and achievements
When and what was responsible for you becoming interested in your academic discipline?
I started my career in industry and then alternated between the civil service and three Universities. My main academic interest is Social Policy with an equal interest in children and older people. Unconventionally I tossed a coin for my PhD and it came down on older people. But although my head is with this subject my heart is with children.
What are your research interests, and what drew you to this area?
I have researched a variety of topics in Social Policy and am truly a ‘jack of all trades’. In the field of ageing I have researched topics including housing, technology, elder abuse, older workers, older women, age friendly cities, the retention of people in longitudinal studies, grandparents, ethics, carers and long term care
Tell us about a couple of your achievements that have been particularly rewarding.
I am proud that I have never had a day out of the workforce since I graduated and at one stage with 3 small children had 4 part time jobs. I am also proud that I chaired the KCL Research Ethics Committee for nearly 10 years and, with the support of senior members of the College and members of the committee, built it up into a nationally recognised body with international links. I also hope that I have helped put the importance of housing for older people on the map.
Do you have professional role models? Who are they and what do you find inspiring about them and their accomplishments?
I am impressed with many women who have made it in a man’s world.
What if any support has most benefited you in your career?
My late husband, my children and my grandchildren.
What do you feel is the most enjoyable/rewarding aspect of your job at King’s?
Working with such a great group of colleagues. Also seeing my students graduate at the Graduation Ceremony which King’s does so well.
How do you balance the various demands of a career in academia: research, teaching/learning, administration?
It is not always easy but good and refreshing to have to consider different aspect of academia.
How do you balance an academic career with life outside the workplace?
I put family first but am also keen to have other interests such as being an active member of my local church.
What have you learnt from your experiences that you would like to share with others?
I learnt resilience as a child when I moved constantly (including a year when my sister and I did not go to school at all. We were always taught to focus on the present and never to look back.