Inspired by leading health inequalities and design speakers

16 June 2017

Inspired by leading health inequalities and design speakers

Researchers and students gathered at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) yesterday (Thursday, June 15) to hear inspiring speeches from Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Institute of Health Equity at University College London, and Andrew Cameron, co-developer of the Design for Business programme at the new V&A Museum in Dundee.

Sir Michael has led research groups on health inequalities for 40 years, supported by several prestigious research funders. His book, ‘The Health Gap’, examines the dramatic differences in health between countries and within countries.

He spoke about the necessity of education in improving inequalities, and that ill health was not confined to the poor. “Bad choices don’t cause poverty; poverty causes bad choices.” He said mortality rates were higher in some countries and cities than others due to an “epidemic of disempowerment”.

The Institute of Health Equity works to achieve greater global health equity through action on the social determinants of health and Sir Michael has led on several landmark studies. He led the famous Whitehall Studies of British civil servants, again focusing on how disease patterns are associates with social gradient.

In 2000, he was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen for services to epidemiology and the understanding of health inequalities.

Sir Michael said: “I am excited by GCU’s research agenda of targeting so comprehensively the UN Sustainable Development Goals and, through that, the causes of ill-health and detriments in wellbeing which still blight society, domestically and internationally.”

When the V&A Museum of Design Dundee opens next year, it will be an international centre of design for Scotland – and the first ever UK design museum to be built outside London.

Andrew Cameron, co-developer of the Design for Business programme at the museum, will lead the first specific design-led business innovation strand, which will place creativity at the heart of Scottish businesses.

He said: “Supporting Scottish business growth and innovation is a key aim of V&A Dundee, as design and design thinking have incredible power to make companies more productive and profitable, and in turn to create many new jobs.”

Sir Michael and Andrew Cameron were at GCU for the annual Research and Postgraduate Open Event.

The event also featured the final of the 3 Minute Thesis, won by Daria Freier, a PhD student in the School of Engineering and Built Environment.

 

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