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'Leading Voices': Health inequality expert Jonathan Wolff to lecture

Jonathan Wolff

JOHNSON CITY – “What’s Wrong with Health Inequality and What Can Be Done About It?” is the topic of a talk by Jonathan Wolff, dean of Arts and Humanities and professor of philosophy at the University College London (UCL), on Thursday, March 27.

This free public talk begins at 7 p.m. in the Millennium Centre ballroom and is part of the ongoing “Leading Voices in Public Health” Lecture Series sponsored by the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health.  It is also the first “Justice, Health, and the Humanities” lecture co-sponsored by ETSU’s Department of Philosophy and Humanities, Public Health Student Association and LIFEPATH – the Tennessee Public Health Training Center.

“Income inequality and the accompanying challenge of health inequality are rapidly becoming global health concerns that are of importance to people across the social spectrum,” according to Dr. Randy Wykoff, dean of the College of Public Health.  “There are few international experts more qualified to speak on this topic than Jonathan Wolff.”

“Health inequality is an issue that crosses many academic disciplines,” said Dr. Leslie MacAvoy, chair of the Department of Philosophy and Humanities.  “In many ways, it illustrates the essential interface between philosophy, public health and social justice.  Mr. Wolff’s writings on this subject have moved this inter-professional dialogue forward, and we are extremely fortunate to have someone of his global stature visiting with us.”

Wolff is a former director of the Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health at UCL, and his work has addressed disadvantage, disability, risk and the measurement of health. 

He is co-author of the book “Disadvantage” and author of “Ethics and Public Policy.”  His book, “The Human Right to Health,” was described as “a must for local and global policy makers and for students of global and public health” by Dr. Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 

Wolff also served as the principal investigator on “The Ethics of Risk,” a project funded by Great Britain’s Arts and Humanities Research Council that led to the report, “Valuation of Life and Health.”

The “Leading Voices in Public Health” Lecture Series began in 2007 to bring internationally respected leaders to the community to speak with students, faculty and community members about issues of key importance to the public welfare.  Since its inception, the series has brought over three dozen speakers to campus, including elected officials, such as former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and former Vice President Al Gore; U.S. Surgeons General David Satcher and Richard Carmona; country singer “Big Kenny” Alphin of Big and Rich; the dean of the Harvard School of Public Health; and other experts.  Videos of many of these presentations are available on the College of Public Health website (www.etsu.edu/cph/).

Wolff’s lecture will be available by live-stream at http://elearning.etsu.edu/publichealthlive.htm.

For more information, call the College of Public Health at (423) 439-4243.  For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.