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ERIC Number: ED158173
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Feb-13
Reference Count: 0
Prospects for Aging in America.
Gordon, Theodore J.
The Futures Group recently performed an assessment of life-extending technology. The study was designed not only to explore the biomedical capabilities which could extend life, but to reach a deeper understanding of the demographic, economic, social, political and value consequences of these developments. After first defining the state-of-the-art of life-extending technologies, the study focused on generating forecasts of the future of biomedical technologies which could affect life span and life expectancy. These forecasts were derived using in-depth interviews with a selected panel of 25 experts. The study team chose to group the technologies into sets and to form several scenarios based on these sets. The remainder of the study was devoted to an identification of the consequences of the assumptions contained in the scenarios. A symposium and interviews were held to identify potential social changes flowing from life extension. More in-depth interviews with selected representatives of interest groups were then utilized to explore the perceived consequences and desirability of a range of impacts of life-extending technologies. The study found that life expectancy is increasing, that new biomedical technologies would accelerate this trend, and that changing age distribution would have significant economic and social impact. Specific consequences are cited. Recommendations for additional information and research are included. (Author/RF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Washington, D.C., February, 1978)