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Center for Advanced Studies - News & Events - Public Lecture: Is the rise in life expectancy hiding a global health crisis?


Public Lecture: Is the rise in life expectancy hiding a global health crisis?

Life expectancy continues to increase year after year. But are we actually healthier than the generations before us? Our Stiftung Südtiroler Sparkasse Global Fellow Maarten Jan Wensink will explore this question in a public lecture.

  • Deutsch
  • English
  • Italiano
  • Date: 10.11.2021, 17.00 CET
  • Place: Online on Zoom
  • Typology: Public Lecture

Maarten Jan Wensink holds a PhD in Medicine and a PhD in Philosophy and teaches biostatistics and epidemiology as an Associate Professor at the University of Southern Denmark. As one of our Stiftung Südtiroler Sparkasse Global Fellows, he will give insights into his research on population dynamics and ageing.

The significant increase in life expectancy is considered one of the great victories of modernity. Moreover, many of these years of life gained appear to be healthy years of life. These observations have often led to the assumption that (Western) populations as a whole have become healthier, will remain so, or may even become healthier as science advances. However, not only is the increase in life expectancy - an average value - borne by predominantly just one subset of the population, there are also troubling signs that younger generations are in many ways unhealthier than the older ones. Diabetes is spreading in pandemic proportions, reducing fertility and even potentially affecting the health of offspring. We also observe that "normal" health metrics, such as fertility or cholesterol - negotiated between science/biology and economics/culture - are being pushed to unhealthy levels. On top of this, our environment is being polluted by a growing number of chemicals whose actual effects are as yet unknown. Is this situation sustainable? What are the connections with globalisation and glocalisation?

Public Lecture

Is the rise in life expectancy hiding a global health crisis?

10.11.2021 | 17.00 CET

Take part!

Join us on Zoom!

Participation is free of charge and open to all interested parties.
The lecture will be given in English.

Maarten Jan Wensink

Maarten Jan Wensink holds a PhD in Medicine and a PhD in Philosophy from Leiden University in the Netherlands. He worked as a PhD student and eventually Post Doc researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany before taking up a position as Assistant Professor at the Max Planck Odense Center at the University of Southern Denmark. Since February 2021, Maarten is Associate Professor at the University of Southern Denmark at the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Biodemography. His current projects include the statistical and epidemiological analysis of paternal medication use in the months preceding conception and potential effects on offspring, as well as theoretical work on population dynamics and aging. He teaches courses on biostatistics and epidemiology.


About the Stiftung Südtiroler Sparkasse Global Fellowship

Each year, two Stiftung Südtiroler Sparkasse Global Fellowships are awarded. The Fellows are offered the opportunity to work closely with the interdisciplinary team at the Center for Advanced Studies on topics of both global and glocal relevance, linking personal experiences and research and chosen geopolitical areas with the Center’s expertise. Our Fellows 2021 are Maarten Jan Wensink and Bartosz Stefan Michalski.

The Global Fellowships are funded by the
Stiftung Südtiroler Sparkasse / Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano.


Eurac Research
Center for Advanced Studies
Drususallee 1 / Viale Druso 1
39100 Bozen / Bolzano
T +39 0471 055 801

Stiftung Südtiroler Sparkasse
Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano
Talfergasse 18 / Via Talvera 18
39100 Bozen / Bolzano
T +39 0471 316 000

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