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MEASURING HAPPINESS

Does increased wealth  really make people happier and more satisfied with their lives? Or does the apparent rise in environmental damage, stress, depression and mental ill-health suggest not?

Peter Adamson, who lives in Sotwell, will be talking to January's Science Exchange meeting about ways of measuring human happiness directly rather than by using GDP per capita. But can well-being and life-satisfaction really be defined, measured and monitored? Can 'Happiness Economics' ever really be a science? And could it really be, as some researchers have claimed, 'a remarkable new tool for policymakers'?

Peter Adamson was for sixteen years Senior Adviser to the Executive Director of UNICEF, with responsibility for the annual 'State of the World's Children' report and 'The Progress of Nations'. Working with the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, Peter also initiated the 'Report Card' series monitoring child well-being in advanced industrial economies and has been series editor for the last twelve years.

Science Exchange Wallingford’s next meeting is at 7.30pm on Tuesday 12th January in Wallingford School Library, St George’s Road, Wallingford. Meetings are very informal. Speakers talk for about half an hour, with a break for refreshments and return for a lively question and answer session. The support of local company Triaster, Wallingford School and the generosity of speakers ensures that each event is free to attend. Science Exchange is part of the nationwide Café Scientifique network. http://www.cafescientifique.org

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