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Editorial
Welcome from your editors Wendy Martin, Samuel R. Nyman, Christina Victor and Veronika Williams

Editorial

A happy New Year to you and welcome to the first issue of 2010! We trust that you have all had a festive holiday and have not been stuck in the snow. Your GR editorial team were caught somewhat in the snow around Christmas so can sympathise with colleagues who have also experienced some disruption. Now we’re into the New Year the next annual BSG conference is not far away at all, which is to be held in July at Brunel University, West London.

We start this year with a change to the editorial team: Veronika has now moved to join Christina and Wendy at Brunel University, West London, where she has started to work on a new ESRC project on Photographing Everyday Life: An Exploration of Ageing, Lived Experiences, Space and Time with Wendy Martin. The team will continue to act as co-editors for GR until the end of 2010, when a new team led by Dr Mary Pat Sullivan (also at Brunel University) will take over the editorship. We look forward to collaborating this year to ensure a seamless and effective handover.

We start this year with a bang with once again a full issue thanks to our contributors. The research papers reflect the diversity of experiences and perspectives amongst older people, in particular, chronological age, gender, sexuality and ethnicity. We are particularly pleased to feature a review in our research section by Dawn Skelton on the highly successful EU funded project on falls prevention in older people. Six years on, Dawn lists the impressive achievements of Prevention of Falls Network Europe (ProFaNE), and provides inspiration for gerontologists to work on EU funded projects and collaborate across disciplines and countries to facilitate evidence-based practice. Findings from the CAFE project (Kathleen Lane, Lee Hooper, and Fiona Poland) clearly challenge widespread views that older women are reluctant to incorporate technologies into their daily lives; as is shown by the fascinating and diverse views and perspectives about the use and attitudes about microwave ovens for food preparation. The final two research papers highlight the complex methodological and cultural issues that researchers face when researching minority groups. Lee Price first reflects on his experiences of identifying and accessing older gay men to participate in research, and the implications of how he is seen by the participants to the diverse voices that may be heard (or not). Maria Zubair also sets out an interesting and reflective account about her experiences of accessing and involving older Pakistani men and women in the research process, and Maria especially highlights the significance of access, culture and language. These two reflective papers clearly highlight the significance and role of the ‘presentation of self’ within older minority groups when researchers are ‘in the field’. We also have four PhD abstracts from students from a range of disciplines.

In our News and Reviews section we have some very interesting reviews of the past BSG conference by three bursary award holders, and a review of the GSA conference in Atlanta by Mary Pat Sullivan and the ‘Ageing Societies: Change, Challenge and Chance’ Postgraduate Conference at the Oxford Institute of Ageing by Yiu-tung Suen. We have some exciting news about the upcoming BSG 2010 conference at Brunel University and the ERA conference at the University of East Anglia. We also have a report by Tom Scharf on the Academy of Social Sciences award ceremony which saw three of our BSG members being awarded certificates in recognition of their contribution to ageing research. Randall Smith reports on the Memorial conference held to celebrate the work and life of Peter Townsend (1928-2009). And as usual we have the insightful reports by our President Judith Phillips and Honorary Secretary Wendy Martin.

Our profile for this month continues the Brunel theme! We feature Mary Gilhooly who has had a ‘portfolio career’ working in academic institutions from Aberdeen to Plymouth. She is currently Professor of Gerontology and Executive Director of the Brunel Institute for Ageing Studies as well as being Deputy Head of School (research). Her boundless enthusiasm for gerontology and the BSG is demonstrated in her profile and by her commitment to the subject and our society. Hopefully lots of you will have the opportunity to meet Mary and listen to some of her work at the Brunel conference (6-8th July 2010).

With the general election not far away our Policy and Practice section consists of two stimulating articles looking at the political dimension of gerontology. Andrew Harrop, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Age Concern and Help the Aged, reminds us of the importance of the ‘grey vote’ in determining elections and its importance in a large number of constituencies. Of political importance has been the development of the devolved administrations in Wales and Scotland. Gwenda Thomas, AM, Deputy Minister for Social Services, gives us an overview of the Dignity in Care programme in Wales which is supporting a number of small but valuable research grants. The variation in social and health policy within Britain resultant from devolution is one of the most interesting and relevant research areas which have an impact upon the lives of individuals and communities.

In our Education / Careers section, we have a message from our very own Emerging Researchers in Ageing (ERA) Committee. They describe their membership, recent activities, and activities and meetings scheduled for this year. Of particular note are the developments in international collaboration, a mentoring scheme, and the ERA 2010 conference for your diaries.

As always, we would like to thank all of our excellent contributors for their time, enthusiasm and willingness to provide material. We are also keen to hear from any of our BSG colleagues who would like to write about their own areas of interest. The dynamic and cutting edge nature of the newsletter is reliant on everyone’s efforts. Naturally all contributions reflect the author’s own views and not that of the Society. If you would like to contribute to any part of this newsletter we would be very happy to hear from you, so please contact us at britishgerontology@yahoo.co.uk

We look forward to hearing from you soon,

Samuel R Nyman, Wendy Martin, Christina Victor and Veronika Williams

Co-Editors.

University of Reading and Brunel University, West London.

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