Sarah Harper

Sarah Harper

Supernumerary Fellow in Gerontology; Professor of Gerontology; Co-Director, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing

Research

Sarah is Professor of Gerontology at the University of Oxford. She is the Co-Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing which she founded in 1997 with funding from the National Institute of Aging. Sarah served on the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, which advises the Prime Minister on the scientific evidence for strategic policies and frameworks. In 2017 she served as the Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Sarah is a Director and Trustee of the UK Research Integrity Office and a member of the Board of Health Data Research UK. Sarah was appointed a CBE in 2018 for services to Demography.

Sarah has a background in anthropology and population studies and her early research focused on migration and the social implications of demographic change. Her current research on demographic change addresses the impact of falling fertility and increasing life expectancy, with a particular interest in Asia and Africa. Recent research has focused on women’s education and empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa and the impact of this on desired family size, older women’s health in Africa, and European life course trajectories and late life female health. She currently directs two research projects looking at the ageing of farmers in Vietnam and Myanmar.

Selected Publications

Sarah has just completed a monograph, How Population Change will Transform our World (Oxford University Press, 2016), and is working on her next book for Cambridge University Press on Population, Technology and Environmental Change. Sarah is the founding editor of the Journal of Population Ageing and editor of the Handbook of Ageing and Public Policy (Elgar, 2014).

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