What was the nature of their innovation and how did it contribute to humankind? Richard Wilkinson deserves to be honoured for the length, endurance and impact of his work for over 50 years as a social epidemiologist, author, advocate and left-wing political activist.His first book Poverty and Progress published in 1973 examined the possible causes of different health outcomes in society and his advocacy later in that decade led to the publication of the Black Report on Inequalities in Health. This was followed by Unhealthy Societies in 1996 and then together with Kate Pickett the ground-breaking and highly influential The Spirit Level in 2009 and The Inner Level in 2018. Richard co-founded The Equality Trust in 2009, is making major contributions to the current work of WEAll, the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, and ASAP, the Alliance for Sustainability and Prosperity and continues to be a highly persuasive speaker and writer.
Richard has not only been one of the most influential voices in society over the past 50 years but he is one of the warmest and funniest people I know.
Richards work has brought the effects of inequality in developed into sharp relief and provided testable ideas as to how it mediates ill effects on the individual through the life cycle and the nature of society. He has thus extended the remit of public health into what in the past would have been regarded as purely political and social issues.
He's the most important person in terms of the crystallization of inequality as a health and social determinant in the public imagination, and given the ideological context he's done this work in it's incredible it's had so much purchase. Inequality is one of the profound challenges of our time and this award would not only be for a man who has tirelessly studied and promoted this for decades, but would build upon the work of building awareness of the importance of inequality the wider world
Only yesterday Richard Wilkinson was quoted twice at an international conference on Building Wellbeing Economies held by the Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir. Both the PM and myself quoted the important results of Wilkinson´s research that shows that inequality influences health, social problems, crime, literacy, social mobility, child well-being, bullying, to name a few results.
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