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Social and Behavioral Sciences in the Field of Aging - Planning Meeting

Friday, June 11, 2004


The objective of this meeting hosted by the Social Sciences Research Council was to explore the “successes” (advances, breakthroughs, etc.) and “failures” (weaknesses, shortcomings, etc.) of the social and behavioral sciences in the field of aging in the last 30 years. The focus was on discussions pertaining to where, when, and why social and behavioral science advances have occurred in the area of aging. One of the summary points from these discussions was that scientific “successes” should not be thought of just in terms of theoretical breakthroughs in scientific paradigms but also in terms of material advances to scientific practices. For example, newer forms of longitudinal data collection and analysis have expanded not only the descriptive but also the predictive capacity of social sciences in various areas, including aging.