Opening Open Science to Elderly Worldwide

Empowering older people to get involved in open science and healthcare.

.Although we are all aware of the observed shift in the distribution of the global population towards older ages, we are still not ready to discuss how open science can assist older adults, family members, caregivers, healthcare and other professionals in handling the accompanying biological, medical, psychological, and social challenges. In addition to that, we have never discussed if open science is really open to this age group regardless of their prior education and training. So, what can biological sciences tell us about old age and related disorders? Is this knowledge actually available to older adults right now? Are older adults, both those with previous scientific training, who are (were) professionals in health sciences as well as laypeople having the same access to open science? Can open science save or improve older adults’ lives, and if yes, how can we share and communicate this wealth of information? Is it possible to introduce these concepts and related research material coming from different countries in online platforms?

These are questions that are still open, taking the form of a problem that everyone knows, but still no one has tried to tackle as negative connotations and biases against older people exist, and a general disregard for their needs relating to open science issues act as impediments to their access to open science. Thus, introducing scientific concepts from medicine, biological sciences, and psychology into the everyday lives of families and older adults is something that is still missing.

This project will aim to answer the above questions and provide for the first time a relevant online ‘’prototype’’ platform specifically designed for older adults that overcomes possible obstacles, containing information coming from relevant research in different languages and by giving older people space to share their questions.

Image courtesy of Vaitsa Giannouli.

Group Leader

Vaitsa Giannouli, Lindau Alumna 2018
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece