‘We’ve never had it so good’ – how does the world today compare to 1957? - Panel Discussion

Past Event

11 May 2015, 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

I Stock 000019568505 Large
© iStock/Elzbieta Sekowska

During a speech in 1957, Prime Minister Harold MacMillan declared "most of our people have never had it so good”. Now, more than half a century later, are we fundamentally any better off? Through discussion of technological advances, social changes, political reforms, and economic shocks and recessions, this panel will seek to question whether the world we currently live in is indeed a better place than it was in the 1950s.

Chaired by Professor Brian Nolan, Professor of Social Policy, the panel will consist of:

  • Dr Max Roser, James Martin Fellow at The Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School
  • Dr Anders Sandberg, James Martin Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute
  • Professor Robert Walker, Professor of Social Policy

A drinks reception will follow, all welcome.

About the speakers

Professor Brian Nolan is Director of INET Oxford's Employment, Equity and Growth Programme and Professor of Social Policy at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention He was previously Principal of the College of Human Sciences and Professor of Public Policy at University College Dublin. He is an economist by training, with a doctorate from the London School of Economics, and his main areas of research are income inequality, poverty, and the economics of social policy. His recent research has focused on trends in income inequality and their societal impacts, the distributional effects of the economic crisis, social inclusion in the EU, top incomes, deprivation and multiple disadvantage, and tax/welfare reform.

Dr Max Roser is a James Martin Fellow at The Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, focusing on income inequality and inclusive growth. His research is based on long-term data from the World Top Incomes Database, and he is especially interested in the impact of international trade and political changes on income inequality in industrialised countries. He's recently worked on visualisation of long-term trends of economic inequality in The Chartbook of Economic Inequality, and is currently working on Our World in Data, a project on the long-term development of living standards around the world.

Dr Anders Sandberg is a James Martin Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute. His research particularly focuses on enhancement of cognition, cognitive biases, technology-enabled collective intelligence, neuroethics and public policy. He is a senior researcher in the FHI-Amlin collaboration on systemic risk of risk modelling. He has a background in computer science, neuroscience and medical engineering, and obtained his Ph.D in computational neuroscience from Stockholm University, Sweden, for work on neural network modelling of human memory. He has also been the scientific producer for the major neuroscience exhibition "Se Hjärnan!" ("Behold the Brain!"), organized by Swedish Travelling Exhibitions, the Swedish Research Council and the Knowledge Foundation that toured Sweden 2005-?2007. He is co-founder and research director for the Swedish think tank Eudoxa.

Professor Robert Walker is a Professor of Social Policy at the University of Oxford. He was formerly Professor of Social Policy at the University Nottingham and before that Professor of Social Policy Research, Loughborough University where he was Director of the Centre for Research in Social Policy. He is a Research Affiliate of the National Poverty Centre, University of Michigan and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was a Member of the statutory UK Social Security Advisory Committee for 10 years until 2012 and chaired the Academic Advisory Committee during the design and launch of the ESRC UK Household Longitudinal Study. His particular research interests include poverty, shame and social exclusion, family dynamics and budgeting strategies, children's aspirations and employment instability and progression. He is a fellow of Green Templeton College, and has published 19 books.