Professor Richard Wilkinson delivering a lecture in front of a power point slide with the title 'what kind of stress causes the biggest rise in stress hormones'

Richard Wilkinson Lectures

Since 2017 The Equality Trust has held the annual Richard Wilkinson Lecture, in partnership with UCL’s Faculty of Population Health Science. The purpose of these lectures is to disseminate the latest research on socio-economic inequalities from world-renowned expert academics and practitioners in the field. These events increase public engagement about inequality and encourage attendees to join the movement to tackle inequality in the UK and beyond.   

We are delighted that Ben Phillips, author of the brilliant book ‘How to Fight Inequality (And Why That Fight Needs You)‘ will be delivering the 4th Richard Wilkinson lecture in December 2021. Tickets are now avalible for free, sign up to secure your space

The inaugural lecture, in December 2017, saw Professor Richard Wilkinson give an engaging talk presenting evidence from The Inner Level, co-authored with Professor Kate Pickett. He demonstrated the adverse impacts that status competition and status anxiety have on all of us as individuals and which are, unfortunately, intrinsic to living in unequal societies.  In particular, there were fascinating insights into the interplay of genetics and environment, and intriguing evidence that differences in our abilities are more a reflection of our position in the social hierarchy than they are a cause of it. 

Professor Richard Wilkinson delivering a lecture in front of a power point slide with the title 'what kind of stress causes the biggest rise in stress hormones'

Professor Richard Wilkinson delivering the inaugural Richard Wilkinson lecture in front of a PowerPoint titled ‘What kind of stress causes the biggest rise in stress hormones?’

Professor Kate Pickett delivered the second in the series of lectures. Her topic was Failing The Future: Childhood in an Unequal World. In a wide-ranging and engaging presentation, Kate presented a vast array of evidence that showed how children are adversely affected by growing up in very unequal societies, such as the UK, compared to growing up in more equal societies. 

Professor Kate Pickett and Dr Wanda Wyporska taking questions in front of a power point slide with a picture of a young girl and a request for a donation

Professor Kate Pickett and Dr Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director of The Equality Trust, taking questions at the second Richard Wilkinson lecture.

Professor Richard Layard gave the Richard Wilkinson Lecture in 2020 as part of the York Festival of Ideas. It was entitled ‘Can We Be Happier? Evidence and Ethics’ where Professor Layard argued that the goal for a society must be the greatest possible all round happiness, provding both evidence about how it is the right aim and also about how it can be achieved. 

The Richard Wilkinson Lectures are not purely academic activities. Richard and Kate have always allied activism to their research, not least through the creation of The Equality Trust. Understanding the true nature of inequality, and providing the evidence to show just how much it damages each one of us (poor, middling and rich alike) is essential if we are to win the argument that inequality must be substantially reduced – and to tip the balance in favour of making it happen. The aim is not only to inform but to inspire participants to take the actions needed in order to build a society where we can all flourish. 

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