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Message from the President
Professor Judith Phillips

This being my last GR issue as President of the BSG I've been reviewing the last 18 months and looking forward to a continuing role as Past President. I was doing this when I started listening to Michael Buerk and his guests on the Moral Maze (April 3rd). They picked up a popular theme at the moment, widely voiced by all the broadsheets and some politicians in the run up to the General Election - that of 'the elderly' and the baby boomers 'having it all'; the wealthiest generation to date who are not interested in investing in following generations. On the one hand it’s good to see that older people are visible and have political power, but we are still stereotyping and discriminating against older people, lumping them together into a wealthy mass of individuals who couldn't care less about the world. The programme did not contain any facts just individual opinion and commentator’s judgement. Programmes like this annoy me because there is no informed voice from our discipline. One of the key elements of our strategy over the last 18 months is to the raise the profile of the Society on the national stage; to use our collective knowledge and skills to inform policy, practice and the media. To this end the Executive have made some significant linkages with other organisations and charities that have skills in making the links - The International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) for example, and the British Geriatrics Society. We are also setting up meetings with different political groups and their think tanks to promote the BSG. This is not an overnight fix however and I believe we have to continue to build on these networks. Demonstrating our impact to such groups is increasingly important and I am pleased that together with Age UK, the Academy of Social Sciences and the ESRC we are publishing a brochure of case studies on the impact of ageing research. This is a start and we hope that with the Research Excellence Framework still on the cards members will be mindful of the importance of trailing the impact of their work. We intend to have a rolling series of case studies featuring impact on our new web site. So as Past President I hope to continue supporting our 5 year strategy of making BSG more visible and influential in a number of circles. I know our 5 year strategy will be in good hands as Mim Bernard takes over as President in July.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the executive team and the GR team over the last 2 years who have made my job much easier and have been ready to take on roles and responsibilities in the Society. Above all my thanks go to Rachel Hazelwood, our administrator and Wendy Martin and Debora Price who have done more behind the scenes work in their executive roles than anyone could imagine and have considerably contributed to raising BSG's profile and professionalism. The last 2 years have been extremely enjoyable and I look forward to working on behalf of the Society in my role as Past President. Thank you all.

With very best wishes,

Judith

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