The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,400+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public.
Founded in 1945, GSA is the driving force behind the promotion of gerontology — both domestically and internationally. Its members come from over 40 countries.
The organization fosters collaboration between biologists, health professionals, policymakers, and behavioral and social scientists. This stems from the belief that the intersection of research from diverse areas is the best way to achieve the greatest impact and promote healthy aging. Through networking and mentorship opportunities, GSA provides a professional “home” for career gerontologists and students at all levels.
- GSA publishes the longest-running and most widely-cited peer-reviewed journals in its field: The Gerontologist, the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological and Medical Sciences, and the Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological and Social Sciences. A monthly newsletter, Gerontology News, is also sent to members.
- The Society convenes an Annual Scientific Meeting, which showcases the latest advancements in gerontological research. This event attracts over 3,500 professionals, and the program consists of more than 500 peer-reviewed scientific sessions featuring research presented for the first time.
- GSA has been a principal player in the study of aging for over 65 years. The organization played an instrumental role in establishing the National Institute on Aging and has shaped the agenda for every White House Conference on Aging. The Society also is a founding member of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations.
- The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), GSA’s educational branch, is a unique network of institutions dedicated to advancing scholarship in gerontology. Its programs set the benchmark for standards in academic programs across the country. AGHE’s official journal is Gerontology & Geriatrics Education.
- GSA’s policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, conducts and compiles research on issues related to population aging and provides information to the public, the press, policymakers, and the academic community. It publishes the quarterly Public Policy & Aging Report, as well as public policy and civic engagement e-newsletters. The Academy also hosts the annual Aging Means Business conference at GSA’s Annual Scientific Meeting.
- In light of the growing demands of the baby boomer population, a GSA Corporate Advisory Panel works strategically with the Society to address the multi-faceted issues impacting aging research, education, practice enterprise, and business models. Tackling the issues and challenges being placed on industry, government, the healthcare system, communities, families, and individuals, the panel identifies solutions that address the ever growing need for innovative technology, products, services, and support.
- As a premier source for public information, the Society issues regular press releases, holds congressional briefings on current gerontological research, and maintains a database of experts on nearly every aspect of aging. With support from the MetLife Foundation, GSA manages a fellowship program that allows reporters to participate in the Annual Scientific Meeting.
- GSA members affiliate with one of four Sections: Biological Sciences, Health Sciences, Behavioral and Social Sciences, or Social Research, Policy and Practice. Student members additionally belong to GSA’s Emerging Scholar and Professional Organization (ESPO).
- The GSA Innovation Fund, sustained by gifts from members, supports the development of programs, products, and services. It was launched during the Society’s 65th anniversary to encourage a culture of philanthropy and stimulate the creation of new resources.
- The Society houses the Coordinating Center for The John A. Hartford Foundation Geriatric Social Work Initiative, which collaborates with social work programs, universities, organizations, and other funders around the country to prepare needed, aging-savvy social workers and improve the care and well-being of older adults and their families.
- GSA is home to the Coordinating Center for the National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (HCGNE), which is supported by a grant from The John A. Hartford Foundation. The National HCGNE is a collaboration between the Coordinating Center and centers housed at schools of nursing that have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to the field of gerontological nursing. The Coordinating Center also supports the studies of pre- and post-doctoral gerontological nurse scientists and educators though a program of awards.
- GSA also manages Careers in Aging Week, which brings awareness of the many professional possibilities offered in the field; AgeWork, an online resource with job listings; an awards program considered to be the field’s most prestigious; and the Campus Ambassadors Program, which is a grassroots network that fosters the study of gerontology among students. Increasingly popular are the GSA Interest Groups that have been formed around specific topics that cut across disciplines.
- The Society’s headquarters is located in Washington, DC. Its staff — working with an elected Council, editors, and various committees — manages all the activities of the organization.