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The Sciences of Ageing and the Culture of Youth, 1880 to the present day

The Sciences of Ageing and the Culture of Youth (SAACY) is a project funded by a UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowship. It will offer a conceptual framework with which to overcome cultural pessimism about ageing and influence policy change.

Cultural pessimism about ageing endangers all facets of intergenerational solidarity; it shapes perceptions of the worth and value of human beings and directs decisions about care, research and funding priorities. SAACY will inform practices and policy development in these areas.

The research is driven by two questions: how does culture frame the questions and paradigms of leading researchers in ageing and diseases of old age? And how do scientific research developments act as cultural force; specifically, how do they influence societal approaches to dementia?

To address these questions, SAACY takes a multipronged approach that reaches across disciplines and sectors. An archive-based study will closely attend the dialogue between cultural discourses and scientific models of ageing. Sociological interventions will explore meanings and anticipations of ageing with our project partners from the third sector, and in collaboration with the King’s Policy Institute and older people SAACY aims to develop policy change for the ageing population

Our partners

Tony Britton, The Pam Britton Trust for Dementia

“The Pam Britton Trust For Dementia very much welcomes this opportunity to work with Dr. Zimmermann on this most valuable research project focusing on dementia. This is important for us as it enhances our work locally to achieve change for those directly concerned. This most complex illness which is currently without a cure, has long required more factual knowledge and understanding.”

Aideen Young, The Centre for Ageing Better

"Ageing Better’s recent report showed that attitudes to ageing and to older people in the UK are mostly negative, with older people seen as incompetent, hostile or a burden on society. As our population ages, it’s vital that we dismantle the insidious ageism in society. We look forward to the outcomes of Martina’s work looking at the genesis of this damaging narrative."

Group lead

Martina Zimmermann

Lecturer in Health Humanities and Health Sciences

Contact us

Here’s the link to our project blog.

You can also get in touch with us using this contact form: