The House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology has set up a Sub-Committee to examine the Scientific Aspects of Ageing. The Sub-Committee today issued an invitation for written evidence.

The Chairman of the Sub-Committee, Lord Sutherland of Houndwood, said:

"This Committee will be looking at the potential of science and technology to assist an ageing population to have a healthier and more active life.

"A number of bodies, including the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, have looked at the impact an ageing population will have on the economy.  It is at least as important to see what science and technology can do to improve the quality of life of older people."


The inquiry will be focussing on:

  • the biological processes of ageing;

  • the application of research towards improvement of the quality of life; and

  • in both these areas, the direction and coordination of research.

The Committee will accept written submissions until 4 October 2004.  A copy of the formal call for evidence is attached.

Further information (including further copies of the call for evidence) from:

Michael Collon, Clerk to the Sub-Committee: Tel: 020 7219 5750.  Email:  

Scientific Aspects of Ageing

Call for Evidence

The House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology has appointed a Sub-Committee, chaired by Lord Sutherland of Houndwood, to inquire into the scientific aspects of ageing.

Average life expectancy in the UK is 77 years, and is still increasing. However, the healthy life expectancy in the UK stands at only 68 years, and the 2001 Census showed that half of the population aged over the statutory retirement age of 65 had a long-term illness or disability.

We therefore invite written evidence on how science and technology can help improve people's prospects of healthy and active life expectancy, and whether Government policy is in place to achieve this.  In particular, we would welcome comments on:

The biological processes of ageing, including-

  • What are promising avenues for research?  How will such research benefit older people and delay the onset of long-term illnesses and disabilities?

  • Differences between the sexes, and between different social and ethnic groups in the UK.

The application of research in technology and design to improve the quality of life of older people, including-

  • Existing technologies which could be used to a greater extent to benefit older people;

  • The development of new technologies.

In both of these areas-

  • How effectively is research co-ordinated in the public, private and  charitable sectors (including internationally)?

  • Have the correct priorities been identified?  Are there any gaps in research? 

  • Is there sufficient research capability in the UK?

  • Is the research being used to inform policy?

Please note that the inquiry will not be considering health care for older people, or the economic aspects of the increase in the expectation of life, such as the future funding of pensions.

 Guidance for those submitting written evidence

The deadline for submitting written evidence is  Monday 4 October 2004.

Submissions should be sent to :

Michael Collon
Clerk of sub-committee I
Select Committee on Science and Technology
Committee Office,
House of Lords,London

and preferably also as an email attachment to  

Telephone  020 7219 5750;    fax 020 7219 4931. 

Please ensure that you include relevant contact details. Evidence should be attributed and dated, with a note of your name and position, and should state whether it is submitted on an individual or corporate basis.

Short submissions of 6 pages or fewer are preferred; longer submissions should include a summary.

Evidence sent as hard copy should be clearly printed or typed on single sides of A4 paper, unstapled.  Paragraphs should be numbered.  If drawings or charts are included, we ask that these are black-and-white and of camera-ready quality.

Evidence becomes the property of the Committee, and may be printed or circulated by the Committee at any stage.  You may publicise or publish your evidence yourself, but in doing so you should indicate that it was prepared for the Committee.

The Committee will invite some of those who submit written evidence to give oral evidence, usually in public at Westminster.  Public sessions will begin in October 2004;  transcripts of such sessions will be published.

You can follow the progress of the inquiry via the Science and Technology Sub-Committee I web pages, accessed from

This is a public call for evidence.  Please bring it to the attention of other groups and individuals who may not have received a copy direct.