Richard Wilkinson: Social Epidemiology


Richard Wilkinson trained in economic and social history and then in epidemiology.  He worked briefly in the National Health Service before taking up research on health inequalities and the social determinants of health at the University of Sussex and then at the University of Nottingham. He is now Emeritus Professor of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham and honorary professor at University College London and at the University of York.

Over more than 30 years Richard has played a formative role in research and public awareness of health inequalities and the social determinants of health.  Since persuading David Ennals, then Secretary of State, to set up a working party which produced the Black Report on Health Inequalities published in 1980, his research has concentrated on the health and social effects of income inequality.

His most recent book, written with Kate Pickett, is: The Spirit Level: why more equal societies almost always do better.  Richard is a co-founder of The Equality Trust, set up with funds from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, to increase public understanding of the damaging effects of large inequalities in income and wealth.  His slides  can be found on the Trust’s web site at:  You can read the Media Comments on The Spirit Level by Professor Wilkinson here.

See, Richard Wilkinson, University of Glasgow Bio.

See also, Richard Wilkinson, Wikipedia.


How Economic Inequality Harms Societies:

We feel instinctively that societies with huge income gaps are somehow going wrong. Richard Wilkinson charts the hard data on economic inequality, and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, lifespan, even such basic values as trust.

See, Richard Wilkinson, How Economic Inequality Harms Societies, TED Global 2011.