Season 5 of the We Society podcast launched

Season five of the We Society podcast has launched today. Hosted by acclaimed author, journalist and Academy President, Will Hutton FAcSS, the podcast invites expert guests from the world of social science to explore the stories behind the news and hear their solutions to some of society’s most pressing problems.

Will said, “I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to discuss many of the big challenges facing society today with some of the world’s leading social scientists over four seasons of the We Society. Their insights on how social science evidence offers solutions to such challenges I find nothing short of inspiring – and season five is no different. From how to encourage more inclusive societies and the future of the British high street to how one of the world’s largest research studies has contributed to improving the health and wellbeing of our communities, it’s a must listen.”

The first episode, released today, features Will in conversation with Professor Lord Richard Layard FAcSS, renowned economist and Peer, on the social science of wellbeing and how it contributes, not only to individual happiness, but also to wider society. With his 90th birthday only a couple of days away, Professor Lord Layard has a deep understanding and experience of translating the insights of economics into practical measures to improve our wellbeing throughout his long and distinguished career. Now Co-Director of LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance’s Community Wellbeing Programme, he focuses on the science of wellbeing.

During the episode, Professor Lord Layard commented on how measuring happiness informs understanding individual and societal wellbeing. He said, “Britain is very rich in data and, since 2011, the government has been measuring the wellbeing of the people as a so-called ‘official national statistic’ using the annual population survey. But even more useful than that are these longitudinal surveys where you can see how people’s happiness fluctuates in response to their experience. So, from a combination of these surveys, both in Britain and in other countries, we’ve got a pretty good handle on what are the most important factors that explain the huge spread of happiness in any community.”

Other guests this season include Professor Andy Pike FAcSS, Professor Anna Lawson FAcSS, Dr Shani Dhanda, Dr Ed Jones, Dr Ella Cockbain and Professor Rosie McEachon discussing big issues ranging from potential solutions for local authorities facing bankruptcy and how to embrace the social model of disability, to the most current research on human trafficking and exploitation and practical ways to improve community wellbeing.

New episodes will be released every Wednesday and listeners are encouraged to subscribe to the podcast on their preferred platform so they don’t miss an episode. All episodes of the past four seasons, featuring guests including Hillary Clinton, Ai Weiwei, Professor Mariana Mazzuccato, Professor Gary Younge, and Professor Heaven Crawley are available to listen now.

Listen and subscribe.