Richard Wilkinson was one of the first people to train in epidemiology from a background in the social sciences rather than medicine.

Why you should listen

Richard Wilkinson is 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. His early research focused on the then unrecognized field of health inequalities. His books and research papers drew attention to the tendency for societies with bigger income differences between rich and poor to suffer a heavier burden of a wide range of health and social problems. 

Wilkinson cofounded the Equality Trust, now a registered campaigning charity since 2007. 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 his book The Spirit Level, was released on Netflix in April 2016. It won the 2011 Political Studies Association Publication of the Year Award and the 2010 Bristol Festival of Ideas Prize. His TED Talk “How economic inequality harms societies” has been watched over four million times. He has received Solidar’s Silver Rose Award, the Irish Cancer Society’s Charles Cully Memorial medal and was the Australian Society for Medical Research medallist in 2017. Together with epidemiologist Kate Pickett, he published his newest book,The Inner Level, in 2018.

Richard Wilkinson’s TED talks

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The damaging effects of inequality

June 28, 2013

in 2012, CEO pay was 202.3 times more than typical worker pay. Inequality activist and co-founder of the Equality Trust, Richard Wilkinson explains why he believes that such obvious disparity could provide the political will for systemic change.

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