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Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton and Anne Case explore how education determines when we die

Trinity College, The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), and Mercers Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA) welcomed Angus Deaton (Nobel Laureate) and Anne Case (Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton), authors of the New York Times bestseller ‘Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism’ for a fascinating discussion of how the flaws in capitalism are fatal for the health of America’s working class on August 23, 2023. Filling Stanley Quek Hall, over 300 people attended this far-reaching lecture, coming from all backgrounds including government organisations, the healthcare field, academic institutions, and the current student body of various universities, among others. Attendees also included the principal investigators of the global network of ageing studies.

Deaton and Case presented data showing that, as the college educated have become healthier and wealthier, adults without a degree are suffering from deaths of despair including suicide, drug overdose, and alcoholism. The causes are complex but include the weakening position of labour, the growing power of corporations, and an exorbitantly expensive healthcare system. In this lecture, they provided new data on the impact of inequality on the working classes in the US and the slow decay of the American dream.

A close friend of Dr. James P. Smith, Angus Deaton also reflected upon their professional and personal journey together. Joined by Dr. Smith’s friends and colleagues from the National Institutes of Health and the global network of ageing studies which Jim Smith helped to create, the event celebrated Dr. Smith’s legacy and contributions to universities and research organisations from around the world.

Principal Investigator of TILDA, Regius Rose Anne Kenny said:

“Jim Smith was a dear friend and colleague. He made many contributions to Irish ageing research over two decades and his generosity knew no bounds. Dr. Smith was chair of the Scientific advisory board of TILDA for over 12 years, a member of the MISA advisory board at St James Hospital and an honorary fellow of Trinity College (2017). He is greatly missed and we were delighted to host this memorial in his honour at Trinity College.”

Trinity's coverage of the event  - TILDA/MISA event explores why education determines when we die? - is available here.