Making the world a happier place

Professor Lord Richard Layard directs the Wellbeing Programme at the ESRC Centre for Economic Performance, and has made major contributions on unemployment, inflation, inequality and post-Communist reform. Author of the influential book Happiness, he currently works on how to produce a happier society and advises the UK government on mental health policy.

Professor Lord Richard Layard

Why did you pursue an academic career?

I never meant to. I was teaching in a comprehensive school and going to evening classes at the London School of Economics (LSE). Through the LSE connection I was asked to be the research officer for the Robbins Committee (Committee on Higher Education, 1961), and after that I was offered a research job at LSE. Continue reading

From research to creating social change through art and engagement

Celia Kitzinger (University of York) and Jenny Kitzinger (Cardiff University) Co-Directors of the Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre and joint winners of the ESRC’s Outstanding Impact in Society Award, 2015.

Professor Jenny Kitzinger and Professor Celia Kitzinger

Running into the office last week carrying a bundle of eight foot bamboo poles, along with a picnic blanket, an iron and a bag of sand, we reflected on the changing role of the academic. Continue reading