New series of Stevenson Lectures in Citizenship

Published: 20 October 2009

A stellar list of speakers is lined up for the new series of Stevenson Lectures with the theme of Citizenship and Health.

A stellar list of speakers is lined up for the new series of Stevenson Lectures with the theme of Citizenship and Health. 

Professor Richard Wilkinson, Emeritus Professor of Social Epidemiology, University of Nottingham opens the prestigious lecture series on Tuesday 27 October by exploring the central role of inequality, identifying it as ‘the enemy between us’.  In his recently published book, The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, Professor Wilkinson and co-author, Dr Kate Pickett, argue that by placing equality before growth as the primary economic and political aim, we would produce healthier and happier citizens.

Professor Philip Hanlon, Professor of Public Health at the University of Glasgow, continues the series on 10 November, speaking on the implications for healthy living for citizens in today’s Scotland and Dr Harry Burns, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland will examine how communities can help to create healthy citizens at his lecture on 1 December.

The lecture series resumes early next year when Professor David Donnison, Emeritus Professor of Public Policy, University of Glasgow will discuss ways in which social justice and public policy affect health. Sheila Dillon, radio journalist and presenter of Radio Four’s ‘The Food Programme’ will consider the relationship between food and the healthy citizen and Margo MacDonald MSP will reflect on her campaign in the Scottish Parliament to legalise Assisted Dying.

The final lecture in March 2010 will be delivered given by David Blunkett MP, the former Home Secretary. David Blunkett became the UK’s first blind person to hold a seat in Cabinet when he became Secretary of State for Education and Employment in the first New Labour Government of 1997, before becoming Home Secretary in 2001.

This lecture will be given in memory of Professor Sir Bernard Crick who died in December 2008. Bernard Crick was a foremost political theorist and champion of the centrality of citizenship in the political community. He worked closely with David Blunkett when the latter was Education Secretary, to introduce citizenship education into schools: producing the Crick Report which became the guiding document for citizenship education. It is therefore particularly fitting that David Blunkett - who had been a student of Bernard Crick’s at Sheffield University - should agree to give his talk as the Inaugural Crick Memorial Lecture.

Dr Kevin Francis, recently appointed Stevenson Fellow in Citizenship at the University of Glasgow said: “Health and well-being is a matter of concern for all of us as private individuals.  But when it comes to the provision of the necessary and typically scarce resources required for maintaining or restoring that health and well-being, then it becomes a matter of public policy and is of concern to us all as citizens.

“The debate goes on about how to fund and how to distribute these scarce resources; and about the possible consequences of any principle of distribution.  Of all areas of inequality in the distribution of those resources central to a life worth living, systemic inequalities in the distribution of health resources may be thought to be among the most invidious. The speakers in the new series of Stevenson lectures will address the heart of these concerns.”

All lectures take place from 6-7.30pm on Tuesdays in the Sir Charles Wilson Building (corner of Gibson Street and University Avenue). The lectures are free and open to the general public.

Lecture timetable:

27 October 2009 - Professor Richard Wilkinson (Emeritus Professor of Social Epidemiology, University of Nottingham)
10 November 2009 – Professor Philip Hanlon (Professor of Public Health at the University of Glasgow)
1 December 2009 - Dr Harry Burns (Chief Medical Officer for Scotland)
23 February 2010 - Sheila Dillon, (radio journalist and presenter of Radio Four’s ‘The Food Programme’)
9 February 2010 - Margo MacDonald (MSP)
2 March 2010 - Professor David Donnison (Emeritus Professor of Public Policy, University of Glasgow)
23 March 2010 - David Blunkett MP (former Home Secretary)

Further information:
Dr Kevin Francis,
Stevenson Fellow in Citizenship,
Department of Politics,
tel:  0141 330 5130

First published: 20 October 2009

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