Boston Museum of Science to Exhibit "Secrets of Aging"
Professor David Demko, PhD
AgeVenture News Service
"Secrets of Aging", the first comprehensive exhibit on the topic of aging, will tour nationally following its debut at the Museum of Science, Boston on April 5, 2000. The exhibit opens at a time when society is experiencing a new phenomenon, a growing number of people living well into their 70s and 80s. By the year 2030, about 20 percent of Americans are projected to be over 65 years old. As the nation enters the 21st century, this dramatic increase is already affecting individuals, families, society, and the economy.
"Secrets of Aging" is a hands-on exhibition that will highlight what current scientific research in biology, physiology, psychology, and sociology tells us about the aging process. The exhibit is divided into four major theme areas: Body, Mind, Society, and Longevity. Some of the questions it addresses include: What happens to our bodies as we age? What happens to our minds as we age? How does society deal with aging? How long can we live?
"With this unique exhibit, we want people to understand that aging is a normal part of life," says David W. Ellis, president and director of the Museum of Science. "There is exciting scientific, cultural, and lifestyle information surrounding the topic of aging, which will make the exhibit experience appealing to all ages."
In the 6,000 square-foot "Secrets of Aging" exhibit, visitors will learn a great many things about both the process of aging and the concerns of older people. For example, adults will learn ways in which different cultures view aging. Young visitors can morph themselves by taking a picture of their face and make it appear older using a sophisticated computer program.
An interactive display on Tai Chi shows the importance of physical activity for mind and body and allows visitors to try some simple Tai Chi moves by following a silhouetted figure on a blank screen. Visitors can also try out new household designs and products for the older generation and learn the latest about items you find on the drugstore shelves.
"Secrets of Aging" was produced by the Museum of Science, Boston in conjunction with the Massachusetts General Hospital Geriatric Medicine Unit and in affiliation with the American Psychological Foundation. The exhibit was developed by the Museum of Science, Boston with the Science Museum Exhibit Collaborative (SMEC), a group of science centers that share resources to create exhibits that travel to each institution.
"Secrets of Aging" debuts at the Museum of Science, Boston on April 5, 2000 and will run through September 4, 2000. Afterwards, during the next three years, the exhibit will tour nationally to five other SMEC museums at California Science Center, Columbus Ohio Science Institute, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Science Museum of Minnesota, and Philadelphia's Franklin Institute.
Image credit: Museum of Science, Boston, MA.
David Demko reports on lifestyle issues and trends in Aging America.
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