News and Events

March 8, 2016  The Brunet Lecture has been postponed. To receive information about the rescheduled date, please email:

March 7, 2016  The Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center CAC is a research and knowledge transfer center concerned with population aging and the modifiability of the aging process. The CAC is a university- wide center based at the Mailman School of Public Health it aims to synergize with and foster scholarly activities in the area of aging across the University. The mission of the CAC is to be a significant academic leader in knowledge creation, translation into impact, and education towards win-wins for all ages in the success of longer lives.


The Postdoctoral Research Scientist is expected to have a degree in psychology or sociology or another related discipline, a strong background in working with large-scale data sets, and a strong interest in the behavioral plasticity of aging. Ideally, the candidate also has prior experience with longitudinal data analyses techniques. The Postdoctoral Research Scientist will work on a project investigating the links between activity patterns and cognitive aging across the adult lifespan funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The successful candidate will be mentored by Dr. Ursula M. Staudinger, Robert N. Butler Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, Professor of Psychology, who is the PI of the project.

March 4, 2016  Fortune talks to Dr. Ruth Finkelstein about the need for flexible work schedules and the idea that the retirement age is not one size fits all.

“We need to rethink how we understand work, making the concept of retirement age obsolete,” she says. “It should be possible for people to dial up and dial down work across their life course. People shouldn’t turn a switch when they’re old and change everything.”


March 2, 2016  This spring we're offering a series of seven events all devoted to the biology of aging. Full series details are here

The next event in the series is a brown bag seminar with postdoctoral fellow Michael Hart, PhD, from Oliver Hobert's laboratory.  Dr. Hart's talk entitled "A New Model for Studying Neuronal Aging in C. elegans" takes place on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, at 12 p.m.

Morningside Location: Northwest Corner Building Room 703NWC, 550 West 120th Street and Broadway, 7th Floor. 



February 20, 2016  Faculty member, Dr. Vegard Skirbekk, speaks at ROA Conference on Human Capital over the Life Cycle on February 20, 2016.  His talk is entitled “Faith and human capital at older ages around the world.”

February 11, 2016  [Update: A video of Dr. Joel Cohen's talk is now available]

Situating Old Age – Demographic and Societal Perspectives on Aging Populations
February 18, 2016 11:30 a.m. –1 p.m.
722 West 168th Street, Eighth Floor Auditorium

Joel E. Cohen, PhD, DrPH [BIO]
Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor, Director of the Laboratory of Populations
Rockefeller University

Ursula M. Staudinger, PhD [BIO]
Director of the Columbia Aging Center
Robert N Butler Professor of Sociomedical Sciences


Read more about the seminar series and future seminars at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health site. Contact Kim Milian to RSVP.

February 3, 2016  UPDATE: Slides from Dr. Zaidi's February 3rd presentation are downloadable here
“Challenges and Opportunities for a Global Index on Active Aging” Lessons from the EU’s Active Ageing Index
Speaker: Asghar Zaidi, PhD
Discussant: Ruth Finkelstein, ScD
With an introduction by John W. Rowe, MD


A Talk by Ann Burack-Weiss


Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 5 p.m. at Faculty Club, 630 W. 168th Street, New York, NY

In her new book, “The Lioness in Winter: Writing an Old Woman's Life,”  social worker Ann Burack-Weiss, PhD, LCSW, draws on the late-life writing of authors like Maya Angelou, Colette, Joan Didion, Doris Lessing and Adrienne Rich for inspirational and practical guidance as she navigates aging. The longtime social work practitioner, consultant and educator who has taught at the Columbia School of Social Work and is now an associate faculty member at Columbia's Program in Narrative Medicine will talk about her research and revelations while writing this book, which “speaks to pain, illness, reflection, and even suicide,” notes Miami University gerontology professor Kate de Medeiros.

Free & open to the public.  Information here:

February 1, 2016  

Age Boom Academy 2016

The Future of Work and Retirement: June 9-11, 2016

Fellowships for Journalists

 The deadline to apply was Friday, March 4, 2016; applications are now closed.

Journalists from around the United States are invited to apply for fellowships at the Age Boom Academy, an advanced training institute on the economics and science of aging, jointly sponsored by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center.  The 2016 Academy will present leading experts on aging, work and retirement and will include senior journalist facilitators. The Academy will be conducted from Thursday evening, June 9, through Saturday, June 11, at Columbia Journalism School in New York City.

January 31, 2016  For the past 12 months, a team of reporters and photographers has been following 20 New Yorkers as they navigate their 80s. 

Exceeding Expectations is a project of the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. It is led by Dorian Block, a journalist, and Ruth Finkelstein, an anthropologist and health policy expert. It is funded by the New York Community Trust.

Every week, Exceeding Expectations  will introduce the story of a new person to their readers. In 2015, they searched far and wide for 20 New Yorkers from all different circumstances and backgrounds who have both exceeded life expectancy and who are disrupting commonly-held expectations of what it means to grow old. You will meet a woman who cares for her 1-year-old great-granchild, a man who was in prison for 30+ years and is trying to make up for lost time and an optometrist who has retired four times but keeps returning to work.