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Jan. 12 Lecture: Why More Equal Societies Have Fewer Problems

British epidemiologists present research on impacts of inequality

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January 7, 2010 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- In their best-selling book, "The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Society Stronger," two internationally renowned epidemiologists examined how large gaps in income inequality create significant problems within societies.

Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett will discuss their research Tuesday, Jan. 12, from 4 to 5:15 p.m. at Northwestern University. Their presentation, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Rebecca Crown Center's Hardin Hall, 633 Clark Street, on Northwestern's Evanston campus.

A compilation of more than a dozen research papers co-authored by Wilkinson and Pickett, "The Spirit Level" was shortlisted for Research Project of the Year by Times Higher Education and selected as one of the top 10 books of the decade by the New Statesman, Britain's award-winning current events magazine.

Using as examples countries such as Great Britain and the United States as well as comparisons between U.S. states, the co-authors will explain how inequality leads to a range of problems including lowered life expectancy, illiteracy, stress and high crime rates.

Wilkinson, professor emeritus at the University of Nottingham Medical School, is internationally known for his research on the social determinants of health and the impact of inequality on health.

Pickett, professor of epidemiology at the University of York, also has conducted broad research on the social determinants of health, with a particular focus on the health of mothers and children. Wilkinson and Pickett are co-founders of The Equality Trust, a London-based nonprofit promoting the principles of their book.

The Jan. 12 program is sponsored by Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research, IPR's Cells to Society: the Center on Social Disparities and Health, and the Department of Medical Social Sciences in the Feinberg School of Medicine.

For further information, visit http://www.northwestern.edu/ipr/c2s/events/colloquia.htm or contact Patricia Reese at p-reese@northwestern.edu or (847) 491-8712.

Topics: Campus Life