X Close



UCL events news and reviews


The 2014 Lancet Lecture – The half-life of caste: The ill-health of a nation

By Kilian Thayaparan, on 26 November 2014

Arundhati Roy speaking at the 2014 Lancet Lecture

Arundhati Roy speaking at the 2014 Lancet Lecture.
Credit: Kirsten Holst.

More than 700 people were in attendance for the 2014 Lancet Lecture, this year given by acclaimed novelist and political activist Arundhati Roy.

The Institute of Education’s Logan Hall – this year’s host venue – was already reaching near full capacity when I arrived. There was a sense of anticipation and excitement, with attendees moving from one area of the room to another as they attempted to find the best possible vantage point.

Considering Roy’s numerous notable achievements and accomplishments, it’s easy to see why this particular Lancet Lecture had generated so much interest – in 1997, she won the Booker Prize for Fiction with her novel The God of Small Things, and she has since written several political pieces on issues ranging from large dams to nuclear weapons.

For the 2014 Lancet Lecture, Roy focused on the practice of caste in India and how it received support from many of those who led India’s struggle for independence. Her comments in the past have gained unfavourable attention in India, often opinionated and controversial, and Roy’s talk on caste would be no different; “If these things shock and disturb you, all I can say is that they shocked and disturbed me too”.


Lessons from India

By news editor, on 28 June 2012

Hanna Niczyporuk (UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies)

The symposium, Lessons for Global Health from India, held on Wednesday 20 June at the UCL Institute of Child Health was an occasion to discuss some of the latest research on India, and its implications for global health.

The event, organised by UCL Interdisciplinary Society for International Development together with the UCL Grand Challenge of Global Health and UCL Public Policy, gathered a collection of academic researchers, students, medical professionals and policy-makers, as well as think-tanks and NGO representatives.

Emphasis was placed on practical lessons that could be drawn from such research for addressing global health challenges and the implications for public policy at national, regional and global level.


Economic growth in India and how women are paying for it

By news editor, on 7 December 2011

India’s human development rankings are struggling to keep up as the country rises through the per capita GDP rankings. At the UCL Lancet Lecture, Professor Jayati Ghosh set out an alternative public health-centred growth strategy to address the deepening divide. Kelly Clarke reports.

Professor Jayati Ghosh and Dr Richard Horton The dream
An increase in per capita income increases the amount of money available to spend on food. Governments have access to larger funds for public health programmes to improve basic health facilities, sanitation, education, housing, transport, etc, etc.

The Indian reality
Ghosh, one of the world’s leading economists, described how the Indian government is failing to synergise economic development with an improvement in basic health indicators. The reason: a lack of investment in public health.


Child development in developing countries

By news editor, on 29 November 2011

Despite some dispiriting statistics, Rob Eagle finds grounds for optimism at a Lunch Hour Lecture about child development on 22 November.

It is no surprise that children from wealthy backgrounds not only develop stronger cognitive skills, but also then become more successful later in life. One need look no further than the politicians from privileged backgrounds who are at the helm of this country’s government.

Long before David Cameron and Nick Clegg went to their private schools and elite universities, they were (presumably) raised in an environment that provided mental stimulation and encouraged education.