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Entries by George Leeson
(19 entries)


The facts behind the headlines

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a traumatic experience at all levels – for individuals, families, communities and governments. The numbers are beyond the grasp of most of us, globally, around ...


The rhetoric of burden and boomer

There is something decidedly discriminatory when a certain group of a population is referred to as a burden, with the implicit understanding that the rest of the unburdensome population has to bear...


Covid is not an inter-generational conflict

As the early days of 2020 passed with most of us hoping for the first signs of spring to drive away the greyness of a long winter, infections from a mysterious virus rose shockingly. The infections...


The political convenience of the “best science available” and a “mountain of data”

In early March, in the early stages of the UK’s response to the COVID-19 crisis this Blog discussed whether experts now know what they are talking about, based on the observation that governm...


So, do experts now know what they are talking about?

On Thursday 23 June 2016 the EU referendum took place and the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. I am sure we all remember either with pain or with pleasure the campaig...


Never too old for the Nobel Prize

John Bannister Goodenough was recently awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 for his pioneering work on lithium-ion batteries, much of which was carried out during his time as Head of the Inorg...


The Demonization of Older People

Just when you think you are living in an enlightened 21st century society, you read Philllip Inman’s article in the Observer under the headline: Old people are an increasing burden, but must ...


Why all the fuss about declining fertility?

Should we be encouraging young women to have more children? This was the question I was being asked recently by journalists from media around the globe, from BBC News to the Voice of Islam. The sud...


Getting older and more urban – a world of challenge and opportunity

The world is ageing – both at an individual and population level – and this ageing produces challenges and opportunities for governments and citizens across the globe. In addition, the ...


Are we waking up to ageing?

My own research interests in population ageing began when I was Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. As one of the first (if not the first) governments in the world, the ...


Where’s the support for living longer?

As I wrote in an earlier blog for this site, one of the greatest achievements of humankind has to be that as many people as possible are living as long as possible. At least now we seem to have the...


Rainy season in Costa Rica

The Institute’s Collen Research Programme in Sub-Saharan Africa[1] has recently been extended into Latin America thanks to additional funding from the European Foundation Life Sciences resear...


Living too long? Is this the beginning of the end of the success story?

One of the greatest achievements of humankind has to be that as many people as possible are living as long as possible. But is this the beginning of the end of this success story? Around the wor...


Inequalities in death

"It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it ." - Martin Luther King While this quote from Martin Luther King is a noble and emotive one, it does still beg the quest...


Brexit: “A bewildering act of self-harm”

Where were you when you heard the news?  As the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford noted  in the early morning of 24th June 2016, this is an event which we shall all look back up...


Latin America is ageing and urbanising …and fast

Latin America is ageing and the region is urbanising quite dramatically. This was the focus of a group of international and regional scholars who met last month in the stunning Bolivian capital of ...


Is low fertility a problem?

Latest Government figures showed the city had the fourth lowest number of births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 in the UK in 2014, with 43.9. Only the City of London, Camden a...


Does it matter where we live, again again?

In June, I asked “does it matter where we live?” in view of the increasing urbanisation and ageing of the world’s population.   Around three quarters of Europe’s ...


Does it matter where we live? From ¾ to 6.4 billion!

We now live in a world where more than half of us live in urban areas, and yet little more than half a century ago, less than a third of us did so. The future looks no less urbanised – on the...