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Durham University

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Previous Events

List of months

Friday 20 September 2013

'The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills' by Dr David Stuckler

1:00pm to 2:30pm, Tees Suite, GP Training Wing, Wolfson Building, Durham University, Queen's Campus, Dr David Stuckler

The Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing in collaboration with the Centre for Public Policy and Health are pleased to host a guest lecture by Dr David Stuckler who will talk about his new book release "The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills".


The Body Economic is the first, agenda-shaping, look at the human costs of financial crisis - the culmination of ten years' work by two pioneering researchers - Sanjay Basu and David Stuckler

The global financial crisis has had a seismic impact upon the wealth of nations. But we have little sense of how it affects one of the most fundamental issues of all: our physical and mental health.

This highly significant new book, based on the authors' own ground breaking research, looks at the daily lives of people affected by financial crisis, from the Great Depression of the 1930s, to post-communist Russia, to the US foreclosure crisis of the late 2000s. Why, it asks, did Sweden experience a fall in suicides during its banking crisis? What triggered a mosquito-borne epidemic in California in 2007? What caused 10 million Russian men to 'disappear' in the 1990s? Why is Greece experiencing rocketing HIV rates? And how did the health of Americans actually improve during the catastrophic crisis of the 1930s? The conclusions it draws are both surprising and compelling: remarkably, when faced with similar crises, the health of some societies - like Iceland - improves, while that of others, such as Greece, deteriorates. Even amid the worst economic disasters, negative public health effects are not inevitable: it's how communities respond to challenges of debt and market turmoil that counts.

The Body Economic puts forward a radical proposition. Austerity, it argues, is seriously bad for your health. We can prevent financial crises from becoming epidemics, but to do so, we must acknowledge what the hard data tells us: that, throughout history, there is a causal link between the strength of a community's health and its social protection systems. Now and for generations to come, our commitment to the building of fairer, more equal societies will determine the health of our body economic.

'Explosive ... powerful. Backed by a decade of research, and based on reams of publicly available data... The Body Economic should come as a broadside, morally armour-plated and data-reinforced', Jon Henley, Guardian

'A powerful indictment of the unnecessary suffering and rising mortality rates associated with austerity policies unsoftened by remedial social programmes. I hope the finance ministers read it, and try mixing with the ordinary people, who are the only ones who can bring about economic recovery'. Harry Eyres, Financial Times

'Economist David Stuckler and epidemiologist Sanjay Basu have spent years correlating government policy and health statistics ... the data is as convincing as the stories are harrowing ... every country that has followed an economic crash with austerity has had a public health catastrophe' Richard Godwin, Evening Standard


David Stuckler is a Senior Research Leader at Oxford University. He completed his Master's in Public Health at Yale University and PhD at Cambridge University. He has published over one-hundred peer-reviewed scientific articles and his work has featured on the cover of The New York Times and The Economist, as well as on BBC, NPR, and CNN, among others.


It is essential to book your place as places are limited and will be allocated in order of receipt. Please click here which will take you to the online booking form.


12:30 Tea/Coffee available in the Wolfson Street, Wolfson Building
13:00 Welcome and introduction by Professor David Hunter
13:05 Guest Lecture by Dr David Stuckler
14:00 Questions and Answers
14:30 Close

Contact for more information about this event.

Monday 2 September 2013

Wolfson Coffee Morning

10:30am to 11:00am, Wolfson Street, Wolfson Building, Durham University, Queen's Campus, Stockton

A Wolfson coffee morning will be held on Monday 2nd September 2013 in the Wolfson Street, Wolfson Building from 10.30am - 11.00am.

Professor Jan Illing, Co-Director Optimising Population and Health will be attending and will be available to talk about her role/support to the WRI with regards to the OPH theme. Please do come along and network with colleagues over a cake and a coffee. Everyone is welcome!

Contact for more information about this event.