24 July 2012
Greetings to AASSREC members and other interested parties,
The Association of Asian Social Science Research Councils and the member organizations are all on a fast-track schedule at the moment with the 20th Biennial Conference in Cebu, The Philippines, coming up in April rather than the usual October conference date. The topic area, ageing in the Asia Pacific region, is a very suitable and robust one and in some ways typical of AASSREC's biennial themes. ASSREC seeks to take on topics that are, as noted, topical and of such broad interest to capture the capacity of member organizations to provide a substantive paper on some aspect of the theme. Ageing is certainly much under the microscope internationally, with issues of future labour and skills shortages looming, and with national costs associated with a large older population to be considered. There are a myriad of other social science related sub-themes to ageing, and therein lies a problem for AASSREC. There are international conferences that seek to debate and understand aspects of for instance health related issues of ageing and full week's conference with many parallel sessions may be required to satisfy the demands of the topic and the interest of the conferees. If AASSREC is to satisfactorily cover the ageing issue, and in just two days, it will have to have strict focus and clear guidelines. That thinking led to the concept paper that was the first step in trying to find the focus and balance in the broader ageing research area that AASSREC needs. In that paper four questions were posed;
Members were asked to consider these questions with respect to cultural, economic, and policy contexts and to provide the PSSC organizers with paper titles and abstracts so that the next generation plan, one that led to a well synthesised program, could be developed by the organisers. The organizers await these abstracts with enthusiasm.
I am sure the members and speakers at the 20th Biennial Conference will leave Cebu with a broader and deeper understanding of the issues facing the region's ageing populations. I hope that the results from the conference will find some resonance with the policy makers in our countries who may be moved to seek further advice from the social sciences on these and other matters.
Here's looking forward to a successful and enriching conference at Cebu, The Phillipines.
Dr. John Beaton
Secretary General - AASSREC