A best selling author will demonstrate to an Edinburgh audience that everything in society – from health to crime, illiteracy and the environment – is affected by how equal it is, and not by its wealth.

Professor Richard Wilkinson, author of “The Spirit Level”, will speak about his research that shows equality is better for everyone, at a lecture in Edinburgh. According to the Guardian ‘The Spirit Level’ “might be the most important book of the year”.

Professor Wilkinson’s acclaimed book provides evidence that almost everything in a society is affected by how equal it is, not by how wealthy it is.

Richard Wilkinson said: “We have shown that reducing inequality leads to a very much better society.”

Richard Wilkinson also argues that “more equal societies are better placed to deal with global warming because they are less consumerist and more public spirited.

“It is fortunate that just when the human species discovers that the environment cannot absorb further increases in emissions, we also learn that further economic growth in the developed world no longer improves health, happiness or measures of wellbeing.”

The Friends of the Earth Scotland lecture will take place on 16 November at the University of Edinburgh.

Duncan McLaren, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “We are working for environmental justice, and we want climate policy to deliver improvements on equality. I am delighted that Richard Wilkinson is making the case for equality, and delivering the evidence for the benefits it brings.

“In a resource-constrained world, sustainable development must involve much greater equity on resource consumption.

Friends of the Earth Scotland is organising the Richard Wilkinson lecture in partnership with the University of Edinburgh Business School.

The lecture will be chaired by broadcaster Lesley Riddoch.


Journalists wishing to attend the lecture should contact:

Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
t: 0131 243 2719

Interviews can also be arranged at request.

Notes to Editors

The lecture will take place at the David Hume Tower Lecture Theatre ‘C’, George Square.

The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone www.equalitytrust.org.uk/resource/the-spirit-level

University of Edinburgh Business School www.business-school.ed.ac.uk Friends of the Earth Scotland exists to help people in Scotland look after the planet for everyone’s future. We think globally and act locally in Scotland, delivering solutions to climate change by enabling and empowering people to take both individual and collective action. We offer help to people with the big things in life – helping to sustain a healthy society and environment. We believe that all of our children’s futures will be better because of what we do. www.foe-scotland.org.uk