Pillemer receives Maxwell A. Pollack Award

Karl Pillemer

Karl Pillemer, gerontologist and professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology, is the recipient of the Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging from the Gerontological Society of America (GSA).

The GSA is the nation’s oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization committed to promoting the study of aging and bridging the gap between researchers, policy-makers, and the public. The award recognizes an individual who has made an “outstanding contribution to increasing the human healthy life span,” with a specific emphasis on translating research knowledge into policy or practice.

Pillemer’s research focuses on intergenerational relationships, particularly in the mid to later life stages. He directs the Cornell Legacy Project, which began in 2004, when Pillemer started conducting nationwide surveys of over 1500 American elders, asking about their lives and advice for younger generations. His bestselling book, 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans, helps fight ageism by showing the benefits of older people’s wisdom, and has recently been highlighted as a resource for living through the current crises.

He is also the author or editor of seven other books on the topics of family and professional care of older people. His next book, Fault Lines: Fractured Families and How to Mend Them, which draws on findings from his on-going research into the causes and consequences of estrangement between adult children and older parents, will come out in September.

“I’m tremendously honored to receive this award, which recognizes the importance of connecting research on aging to policy and practice,” Pillemer said. “I am very grateful to Cornell for providing a perfect environment for combining science and service.”

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