The longevity puzzle – time to put the pieces together

Lisa Ireland, President and CEO for The Longevity Science Foundation, to address US Library of Congress.

While age-defying celebrities and rigid health regimens are often associated with longevity, an upcoming event aims to show that far from being out of reach for the average person, longevity can, in fact, be accessible to everyone.

Putting Together the Puzzle Pieces of Longevity will bring together specialists from fields that engage with longevity science to speak on how cognitive wellness interacts with quality of life on Wednesday, 7th February, 12pm – 1:30 pm EST..

Longevity.Technology: Panelists will discuss many issues in longevity, including the ethics of longevity science, neural health, and how art engagement can have an impact on our brains. The panel aims to shift focus from “mental health” to “cognitive wellness,” and to foreground quality of life for elders. This helps avoid certain stigmas while also embracing the core work of co-sponsor, the Longevity Science Foundation: “Adding Years to Our Life and Life to Our Years.”

Held in the Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, DC, the event is co-sponsored by The Library’s American Folklife Center, working in conjunction with the Health Services Division. Longevity is an issue for folklife and traditional culture in that elder culture bearers are key transmitters of knowledge, beliefs and practices. The notion of “elder” has resonance across many cultural communities represented in the Center’s collections, and longevity as lived experience runs throughout the Center’s holdings.  Exploring the intersections of traditional culture with emergent science-based understandings can be beneficial to medical practice and the public alike. 

The Library of Congress staff is a microcosm of the public with similar questions and concerns focused on aging, quality of life, and the need to move gracefully along the continuum between working years and retirement years. The Health Services Division sees the work on, and conversations about, longevity as vital to helping the workforce navigate this continuum. 

Panelists include:

  • Lisa Ireland, President and CEO for The Longevity Science Foundation.
  • Jon Kay, director of Traditional Arts Indiana at Indiana University and author of “Folk Art and Aging: Life-Story Objects and Their Makers.”
  • Kelly O’Brien , Vice President of Prevention for UsAgainstAlzheimer’s.
  • Susan Magsamen , Executive Director of the International Arts and Mind Lab at the Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

Putting Together the Puzzle Pieces of Longevity
Wednesday, 7 February 2024, 12 – 1:30 pm EST
Thomas Jefferson Building – Whittall Pavilion
10 1st Street SE, Washington, DC 20540

The event is free, but tickets are required; it will also be livestreamed and available for viewing afterwards in the Library’s Event Videos collection.

Photograph: Walt Bilous/Shutterstock