UCL Events


VIRTUAL EVENT: The planet, economic growth and ourselves post-Covid: health trends in rich countries

28 May 2020, 1:00 pm–1:45 pm

A drawing of the globe with peplomers causing it to resemble the coronavirus.

This talk discusses the relationship between economic growth and our wellbeing and health, and what effect it may have on our future.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Sanaa Al-Busaidy


Virtual event

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About the lecture:

COVID-19 reminds us of our deep vulnerability to environmental threats. Climate change is the biggest threat of all, and rich countries must seize this moment to build a truly sustainable future. This brief lecture reflects on a major obstacle to such transformation: the widespread assumption that economic growth is obligatory in the interest of our wellbeing and health. Recent low growth and stagnant health trends in UK and USA suggest, indeed, that population health improvement may stop in the post-COVID world. Living conditions cannot simply be transplanted from one context to another, however in Japan, health continues to improve and socioeconomic inequality in wellbeing remained small, despite low economic growth over recent decades.

About the Speaker

Professor Eric Brunner

Professor of Social and Biological Epidemiology at UCL

Eric Brunner is a social epidemiologist, co-director of the Whitehall II Study of health inequalities and ageing, and a visiting professor at Osaka University. He is supported by the British Heart Foundation. 

Upcoming contributed book: Health in Japan, Oxford University Press (Editors: Eric Brunner, Noriko Cable, Hiroyasu Iso).