2008 Public Health Symposium

The Global Crisis of Aging: Population, Biology, and Social Implications

The Global Crisis of Aging: Population, Biology, and Social Implications

The 2018 symposium was held on Monday, October 6, 2008, 8:15 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., at University of Michigan Rackham Auditorium.

By 2050, an estimated 1.5 billion people on the planet will be aged 65 and older. 1.2 billion of them will live in less developed world regions. Worldwide population aging creates new and growing challenges for public health. The burden of chronic disease will deepen; the cost of providing health care and social services will escalate. Policymakers will face tough decisions about how to allocate increasingly scarce resources. This year's SPH symposium addresses the public health dimensions of the looming global crisis. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Linda Fried, internationally known geriatrician and new Dean of the School of Public Health at Columbia University. Prominent speakers from across the U.S., within University of Michigan and from Michigan community programs serving older people will also be featured.

Suggested Overview Reading

"Why Population Aging Matters: A Global Perspective" was published by the National Institutes of Health in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State. This report (PDF) was prepared for the March 15, 2007 Summit on Global Aging. The report addresses 9 key issues in global aging ranging from increases in life expectancy to the impact of population aging on the global economy. These changes have led the U.S. Institute of Medicine to call for increases in training of health care providers and for the National Institute of Aging (NIA) to call for increased research into prevention and aging.
Doctoral Training Opportunity in Public Health and Aging

The NIA-funded UM Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training in Public Health and Aging is open to students enrolled in doctoral programs in health, social, or behavioral sciences at the Univerisity of Michigan. Deadline to apply is April 1, 2009. More information. (PDF).


The symposium is co-sponsored by two key institutes at UM: University of Michigan Institute of Gerontology and the Institute for Social Research.

About the Public Health Symposium

This biennial symposium is a unique aspect of the School of Public Health curriculum. The day is designed for exploration and dialogue, thinking broadly and intensely as a community about a public health issue. This year's focus is worldwide population aging and its implications for public health. For the first time, UM SPH has opened this symposium to a limited number of faculty and students from the wider university and to some key community representatives interested in aging. UM SPH alumni are also invited to attend.

This immersion program will leave you with an enhanced understanding of the issues and a stronger appreciation for the work of your colleagues across departments as well as students and faculty working in aging at UM and public health professionals working in the community. All SPH classes are suspended Monday October 6, enabling all students and faculty to attend the symposium. This all-day event is an important and required component of the SPH's BIC curriculum (Breadth, Integration, and Capstone).