On 7 February 2018, North Rhine-Westfalia’s Science Minister Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen appointed Ursula Staudinger, Klaus Engel and Beate Konze-Thomas new members of the University Council of Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB). The three new members now complete the board, which largely determines the fate of the university. “An amicable and critical support of the university is important. This is also a great opportunity for the university. If that is done successfully, you will be good ambassadors for the university,” said Pfeiffer-Poensgen in her address and presented certificates to all seven Members of the University Council.
The Council Members, who are appointed for five years, have far-reaching powers: They play a direct strategic role in determining the future development of the university and are responsible for supervising the operative business carried out by the university management. Dr Ricarda Brandts, Dr Klaus Engel, Birgit Fischer, Thomas Jorberg, Dr Beate Konze-Thomas, Prof. Dr Ursula Marie Staudinger and Prof. Dr Hildegard Westphal make up the new University Council of the RUB.
Ursula Staudinger decided to live what she preaches as a lifespan psychologist: Changing gears and embracing novelty are spices of life and fuel for development and aging. After 15 years of building institutions – first in Germany at Jacobs University and then in the United States at Columbia University – she did not renew her position as Director of the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center (CAC), which she was hired to build five years ago.
Instead, Ursula Staudinger is ready for a change and wants to have more time to devote to her interdisciplinary research interests and her writing as well as her advisory work. As of January 2018, she is Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and of Psychology in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences and Faculty at the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center, Columbia University.
“I have greatly enjoyed the time building the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center together with a wonderful team of colleagues within the CAC and across Columbia University. It is with gratitude and a sense of pride that I look back on what we have achieved over the last years,” Staudinger says. She sincerely thanks the CAC Team and the Columbia colleagues who have been supporting the CAC and its development.
The CAC has reached visibility and credibility across the University as well as nationally and internationally. It has developed to be a prototype for orchestrating truly interdisciplinary research and has taken on leadership on how science may help to transform societies to be better suited for longer lives to flourish and prosper.
On 30 October 2017, the Nobel Prize Dialogue was held in Seoul. Five Nobel laureates, key opinion leaders, policy makers, students, researchers and the general public met to discuss The Age to Come, exploring the challenges with an ageing population. Read more
This August, a select group of the world’s leading behavioral scientists gathered in Chicago for the Center for Practical Wisdom Research Forum 2017. Their aim was to tackle some very ancient questions with some very modern tools: What is wisdom? Can it be measured? And how do we develop it? Read more
On 12-13 October, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina hosted the Symposium “Molecular Biology of Aging – Sino-German Perspectives” in Berlin, bringing together Chinese and German top-level academics to discuss issues of aging research. The conference was organized by Ursula Staudinger, Speaker of the Leopoldina Commission “Demographic Change”, together with Ulrich Hartl of the Max Planck Institute and Michael Hengartner, Principal of the University of Zürich. Read more