The Ageing of British Gerontology Project Update

We’re reaching the end of our two-year Leverhulme-funded research project ‘The Ageing of British Gerontology’ and are looking forward to sharing our findings and exhibition with the rest of the world! Working on the project has been tremendously interesting and rewarding, and has certainly kept us all very busy!  So what have we been up to?

  • We have examined materials from the BSG archives, including systematically recording detailed information from BSG annual conference programmes, and issues of Generations Review. We created an electronic exhibition of archive materials, which is available on the project website.
  • We have undertaken in-depth interviews with 50 individuals who have all made a significant contribution to building the gerontological knowledge base in Britain over the past 40-50 years.
  • Face-to- face interviews took place in locations all over the UK. One was undertaken via Skype with a participant now based in Australia.
  • All of the interviews were audio-recorded, and 44 were filmed.
  • All of the interviews have now been analysed using NVivo software.
  • 47 participants have attended photo shoots with artist, photographer and gerontologist Sukey Parnell.

Finding out about our Research

There will be many different ways to find out about our research and its findings: the project exhibition will be launched at the the British Society of Gerontology 46th Annual Conference, hosted by the Centre for Innovative Ageing at Swansea University from July 5th-7th 2017.  The launch will take place there at 4pm on Wednesday 5th July.  The exhibition will include photographic portraits, films and images from the archives. There will also be a newspaper-style publication of the images available free to conference delegates.

The launch will be followed at 4.30pm by a unique opportunity to attend a Roundtable discussion involving six of our project participants: Dr Bill Bytheway, Dr Kate Davidson, Professor Eileen Fairhurst, Tessa Harding, Professor Mike Nolan and Professor Ian Philp. Discussions will explore how being a gerontologist has related to people’s own experiences of ageing, and will take place in the exhibition venue.

We will also present a conference paper entitled:  “Being a Gerontologist: intersections between the professional and the personal in the ‘Ageing of British Gerontology’ project.”  This will take place at 11.45am on Friday 7th July.

If you are unable to join us in Swansea, there will be other opportunities to see the exhibition. It will be available on loan to other institutions, and it will also be available in electronic format on the BSG and our project websites. The series of short films, each focusing on a particular theme, will be available on our project and the BSG websites. In the longer term, we will be producing a book, to be published by Policy Press, and watch this space for details of further publications!

To whet your appetite for the exhibition, here are fantastic images of two of our Roundtable participants: Dr Bill Bytheway and Professor Eileen Fairhurst.

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