James W. Vaupel (MPI for Demographic Research, Rostock) and Gerhard Wolf in co-operation with partners at other Max Planck Institutes

Running time: 2009 – 2016

Urs Fischer, Rudi, wax candle sculpture, melting down slowly, Biennale di Venezia 2011

The Max Planck International Research Network on Aging (MaxNetAging), directed by James W. Vaupel (Director at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research) since 2007, is a virtual institute for the advancement of research on the causes, patterns, processes, and consequences of aging. Under the auspices of the Max Planck Society MaxNetAging provides a platform for an international collaboration endeavor between Max Planck Institutes and outstanding scholars from other institutions around the world. The network’s interdisciplinary focus includes political science, law, sociology, anthropology, economics, history, art history, history of science, demography, mathematics, biology, medicine, cognitive and brain sciences, psychology, and human development. MaxNetAging consists of a doctoral and postdoctoral stipend program (MaxNetAging research school), fellowships, research workshops, and annual conferences.

At the beginning of the first year, the PhD students and Postdocs spend an initial period of six months at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock. During this time, they participate in a course program designed to introduce them to various aspects of aging research (including lectures, seminars, workshops, graduate classes, etc.), accompanied by seminars teaching so-called soft-skills, such as scientific writing, presentation skills, etc. Following this initial period, for the remaining running time of their stipend, the PhD students and Postdocs continue their PhD education and research projects at the Max Planck Institutes they are affiliated with, under the supervision of their respective director. In the reporting period, the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz hosted two doctoral and one postdoctoral fellow working on different kinds of subjects which range from medieval Tuscan painting up to contemporary art.

In March 2014, a three day graduate conference, Prozesse des Alter(n)s, was held at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz in collaboration with the graduate research school Alter(n) als kulturelle Konzeption und Praxis from the University of Düsseldorf. PhD students from both programs, MaxNetAging and Düsseldorf, along with invited Postdocs and senior scholars, came together to present aspects of their current research into the topic of aging. The proceedings of this conference were published under the auspices of the research school. Prozesse des Alterns. Konzepte – Narrative – Praktiken was published in July 2015 by transcript within the series Alter(n)skulturen and include, among other essays, contributions by two MaxNetAging PhD students (Hanna Baro and Pia-Leonie Fox) and a MaxNetAging Postdoc (Sabine Kampmann).


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