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Sharing Age A Sharing Approach to Promoting Science

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Promoting brain health

An EU team has contributed to efforts aimed at reducing health care costs by helping to prevent mental decline in elderly citizens. To that group, the project also communicated the benefits of EU health research via a collaborative process and by engaging media such as films.

Health

Ageing of the population presents significant social challenges, including the costs to health care systems. Governments can minimise such costs by promoting healthy ageing, and in particular by helping to prevent cognitive decline. The EU-funded ASAPS (Sharing age a sharing approach to promoting science) project aimed to foster healthy ageing. The foci included maintenance of mental function and fostering of independent living. The eight-member consortium set out to do so by communicating the benefits of European health research to the general public. The approach differed from others by utilising a shared approach to online digital content creation, with emphasis on emotionally engaging media, including film. The consortium ran from October 2012 to September 2014, and hosting of the project website was arranged until at least 2016. Hello Brain, the project's online campaign, promoted brain health and illustrated European brain research. Specific multilingual outputs included a series of short animated films, short video interviews with scientists and a documentary about European research. The popular project website offers access to the films and additional popularised information about the brain, including printed material. The website also hosted an app providing access to materials and information about events such as public presentations. The app was downloaded more than 6 000 times during the project, and the project's films received a total of 110 000 views. The consortium received considerable coverage from print, broadcast and online media. The group's printed materials were widely distributed, including to schools and libraries. ASAPS helped to coordinate European brain research, while also increasing its visibility and public impact. The project raised general awareness concerning the importance of brain health, and provided valuable information about how this can be achieved.

Keywords

Brain health, health care, mental decline, healthy ageing, promoting science

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