Special Project 2012-13

Ethics, Aging and Public Policy: New Challenges for the 21st Century Surrounding the Health Span of Aging Populations.

College of Engineering’s Edward H. Arnold Center for Confluent Media Studies; and School of Communication
Faculty: Ali Habashi, M.S., Edmund Talavera, M.F.A.
Student: Alex Pantín

ProductionAs the world's population ages, new challenges are expected to arise that would impact societies and their value systems. This is in part the basis for the global feature-length documentary film and initiative The Silver Mirror, originated by the University of Miami College of Engineering Edward H. Arnold Center for Confluent Media Studies. Along with the relevant topic of aging populations this initiative addresses, is how the topic will be introduced into the educational setting to trigger thoughtful academic discourse. In parallel with the launch of The Silver Mirror, it is essential to create related educational material that could be used as a classroom aid to support teachers and students in triggering the discussion of issues at the core of this initiative. (Watch the trailer.)

The purpose of the project “Ethics, Aging and Public Policy: New challenges for the 21st Century Surrounding the Health Span of Aging Populations” is to therefore leverage the power and impact of educational media in the classroom to generate thought provoking dialogue and optimal learning surrounding a topic that has wide human appeal.  Utilizing this approach (what’s referred to as blended learning), the format for this project comprises the production of a series of six (6) media episodes focused on one question per episode for discussion on the topic of “the critical and ethical issues surrounding the increasing health span of aging populations” specifically targeting the possibility and reasons for extending the human life/health span through scientific intervention and the potential impacts of that on populations, the environment, resources, health care systems, economies, the shrinking workforce, societies, generational succession and more notably - life’s purpose.

The series of the professionally produced film episodes, along with the creation of complementary educational literature/discussion questions derived from the sessions, would be made available via a dedicated on-line platform to serve as educational aids for classroom interaction, thus supporting a blended learning approach.

An accompanying panel discussion (the filming of which is depicted in the photo above) features the following participants:

  • Dr. Bonnie Blomberg, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
  • Dr. Marin Gillis, Moderator, Associate Professor and Director, Integrated Ethics and Medical Humanities, Florida International University
  • Colin McGinn, philosopher
  • Dr. Isaac Prilleltensky, Dean and Professor, University of Miami School of Education
  • Dr. Bernard Roos, Professor of Medicine, Director, Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine and Executive Director, Center on Adult Development and Aging, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine,
  • October 2013, Coral Gables, University of Miami > Poster
  • October 2013, Geneva, World Health Organization > Flyer
  • February 2014, New York, Columbia University > Poster  | Flyer
For more information, please contact

Christina Delphus
Associate Director
Edward H. Arnold Center for Confluent Media Studies, University of Miami College of Engineering
Phone: (305) 607-0020
Fax:    (305) 284-4044
Email:  cdelphus@miami.edu