British Academy events on Wellbeing

An interesting series of British Academy events (at various venues) on Wellbeing. The fourth event, taking a relational perspective on poverty, looks particularly interesting in light of Ranciere’s work on “counting” and “the part that has no part”.

Text from the British Academy email newsletter follows.

Events take place both at the British Academy 10-11 Carlton House Terrace and at partner venues around the UK. Many are free to attend.

What is Well-being?
Wednesday 14 January, 6-7.30pm
Venue: The Lowry, Salford
What should the term ‘well-being’ encompass, what contributes to it, and why is it important? How does this differ across social, historical and cultural contexts? What is relevant to our well-being beyond basic material needs or wants? Health? Community? Capabilities? Risks? Fulfilment? Happiness?
Chair: Felicity Goodey CBE, Lifelong President of The Lowry Centre Trust
Paul Dolan, Professor of Behavioural Science, Department of Social Policy, LSE
Gregor Henderson, National Lead for Wellbeing and Mental Health with Public Health England
Richard Bentall FBA, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool
Bernadette Conlon, Chief Executive, Start in Salford

Social and Economic Change and Well-being
Wednesday 4 February, 6-7.30pm
Venue: National Museum Wales, Cardiff
How should different concepts of well-being affect our understanding of social and economic change? How can well-being be measured? And what impact might these measurement processes have? How does social and economic change influence well-being?
Nicola Heywood Thomas, BBC Radio Wales
Martine Durand, Director of Statistics OECD
Anthony Heath FBA, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Oxford
Gareth Williams, Professor of Sociology, Director of the Cardiff Institute of Society, Health and Well-Being
Gareth Puttock, Director, ACE Cardiff

Enriching our lives – why the Humanities and Social Sciences matter now
Tuesday 3 February, 6-7.30pm,
Venue: The New Theatre, LSE, London
Panel Discussion
What is the true nature of ‘prosperity’ in today’s world? How does a world-leading centre of research and teaching excellence such as the LSE drive it forward? As part of the British Academy’s Prospering Wisely project, we will explore how humanitites and social science research fuels our modern knowledge-based economy, helps sustain our healthy democracy and contributes to human and cultural well-being. As a nation are we investing sufficiently in these drivers of future success and human progress?
Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities
Lord (Nicholas) Stern of Brentford, President of the British Academy and IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government, LSE
Professor Julia Black, Director of Research, LSE

‘To count for nothing’: Poverty beyond the statistics
Thursday 5 February, 6-7.15pm
Venue: The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace
The British Academy Lecture
Professor the Baroness Ruth Lister of Burtersett CBE, FBA, FAcSS, House of Lords and Loughborough University
Beyond the statistics that tend to dominate much public debate, a focus on the experience of poverty reveals its relational as well as material nature. The lecture will explore this understanding of poverty with reference to the impact of the discourses that shame ‘the poor’ as ‘the other’ who ‘counts for nothing’.

‘Measuring Happiness?’–A Panel Discussion at the LSE.

Last night saw a transdisciplinary panel of Economists, Neuroscientists, Behavioural Scientists and industry specialists, all debating the possibility and social benefits of measuring happiness and wellbeing.

With discussion ranging from what makes individuals happy, similarity in happiness patterns between the great apes and human beings, and the difference between moment to moment happiness and what we think should make us happy, the dialogue was far reaching and raised many questions regarding wellbeing and the individual, as well as the wider undertaking of measuring the happiness of a nation.

With few certain agreements, the panel were unanimous in distinguishing between a nations’ wellbeing and its GDP meaning that the question of ‘happiness’ is at the fore of political and public concern in our present era of austerity.