British Academy announces Well-being debate series

6 Jan 2015

The British Academy has announced the third series of British Academy Debates, to be held in early 2015 on well-being. These free public events will bring together leading academics from the humanities and social sciences to discuss why well-being is important, how social and economic change influences well-being, and what voters expect of government in terms of promoting well-being.

The British Academy Debates were launched in spring 2014 to encourage the public to discuss some of the most important challenges of our time, and show the role academic research plays in helping us understand and address them.

This series of Well-being debates takes place in Salford, Cardiff and London. Each debate will focus on a different aspect of well-being, with questions ranging from ‘How can we measure well-being?’ to ‘How should the concept of well-being influence public policy?’

Registration and more information about the British Academy Debates can be found online and via #bigdebates.     

The British Academy Debates: Well-being events are:

What is well-being?

The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ

Wednesday 14 January 2015, 6pm

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? Fulfillment? Happiness?

Chair: Felicity Goodey CBE, Lifelong President of the Lowry Trust Centre

Confirmed speakers: Paul Dolan, Professor of Behavioural Science in the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, author of ‘Happiness by Design’, Gregor Henderson, the National Lead for Wellbeing and Mental Health with Public Health England, Richard Bentall FBA, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool, and Bernadette Conlon, Chief Executive Start in Salford.

Social and Economic Change and Well-being

National Museum, Cathay’s Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NP

Wednesday 4 February 2015, 6pm

How does social and economic change influence well-being? How do 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?

Chair: Nicola Heywood Thomas, BBC Radio Wales

Confirmed speakers: Martine Durand, Director of Statistics OECD, Anthony Heath FBA, Emeritus Professor of Sociology University of Oxford, Gareth Williams, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Cardiff Institute of Society, Health and Well-Being and Gareth Puttock, Director ACE Cardiff.  

Well-being and Public Policy

Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU

Wednesday 4 March 2015, 6pm

What difference should different concepts of well-being make to the way we approach public policy? How does the concept of well-being influence policy makers and governments? What do voters expect of government in terms of promoting well-being? How is the available information and research used – and how should it be?

Confirmed speakers: Lord Gus O’Donnell, Chair of Wellbeing and Policy Commission, and the development group for the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, Dr David Halpern, Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team and Board Director, and Nic Marks, well-being researcher.

Notes to editors

1. For more information please contact the British Academy press office: [email protected] / 02079695227

2. The British Academy for the humanities and social sciences. Established by Royal Charter in 1902. Its purpose is to inspire, recognise and support excellence and high achievement in the humanities and social sciences, throughout the UK and internationally, and to champion their role and value. For more information, please visit Follow the British Academy on Twitter @britac_news

Contact the press office

For further information contact the Press Office on [email protected]  / 07500 010 432.

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