Why equality matters for social cohesion

In this presentation Richard Wilkinson, Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham Medical School, will explore the profound impact of income inequality on societal health and well-being. We’ll also explore the critical intersection between inequality and environmental sustainability. As the world faces escalating climate challenges, the ability to act collectively for the common good becomes essential. Richard will highlight how reducing inequality can foster cooperation and reduce consumerism, paving the way for a more sustainable future and healthier, more equitable, and resilient societies.

This event was held on Thursday, 18th July 2024.

Richard Wilkinson studied economic history and the philosophy of science at the London School of Economics before training in epidemiology. He is now Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham Medical School, Honorary Professor at University College London and Visiting Professor at the University of York. 

Since his initial research focussed on health inequalities, his books and research papers have drawn attention to the tendency for societies with bigger income differences between rich and poor to suffer a heavier burden of health and social problems. Two of his books have been the subject of documentary films – The Great Leveller (for the Channel 4 TV’s Equinox series broadcast in 1996) was based on his Unhealthy Societies. The Divide (based on The Spirit Level) was released in April 2016 (available on Netflix).

The Spirit Level, written with Kate Pickett is now in 24 languages. It won the 2011 Political Studies Association Publication of the Year Award and the 2010 Bristol Festival of Ideas Prize. His first TED talk ‘How economic inequality harms societies’ has been watched over 4 million times, and his second, ‘The link between inequality and anxiety’ has been viewed almost 2 million times in the last two years.  Richard has received Solidar’s Silver Rose Award, the Irish Cancer Society’s Charles Cully Memorial medal, and was The Australian Society for Medical Research’s medallist of the year in 2017. He and Kate Pickett published their latest book, called The Inner Level, in 2018.

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