Prof. Paul Dolan on “Why SAGE needs education experts as well as scientists”

“We’re following the science.” From the very start of the Covid-19 pandemic, ministers have emphasised the leading role that the science of virus transmission and mortality risks has played in their decisions. 

But the policy responses to the virus have affected many aspects of our physical and mental health, as well as having massive economic and social consequences, too.

So, really, we should also have heard the government say just as loudly that “We’re following the social science” – and that includes education specialists.

Read the full article here.

Hay Festival Digital: Paul Dolan and Magdalena Skipper talk to Rosie Boycott

“What are the medical imperatives? What are the dangers of the virus, isolation, domestic abuse, mental health crises and poverty? By focusing on the most vulnerable and elderly, are we doubling down on generational injustice? The behavioural economist Paul Dolan, author of Happy Ever After discusses the societal pressures and implications with Magdalena Skipper, the editor of Nature magazine.”

Watch the full event on Hay Player here.

Prof. Paul Dolan on Hay Festival Digital: F**k The Narrative

“There are many narratives about how we should live our lives. We should seek success, for example, and we are masters of our own destiny. We use these narratives as sticks to beat others with if they don’t conform. I will consider whether these narratives are good for us and why we care way too much about what others do. Dolan is Professor of Behavioural Science at the LSE and author of Happy Ever After.”

Watch the full event on Hay Player here.

The Wellbeing Costs of COVID-19 in the UK

“The COVID-19 health pandemic is having a major impact on our lives. Very little
is known, however, about the effects of the policy responses on people’s wellbeing. We estimate the wellbeing costs of COVID-19 and social distancing measures by looking at the impacts of the pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of people in the UK between 9 and 19 April 2020 using a large survey with nationally representative quotas.”

Read the full report here.

I’m pro-young, not anti-old: policy responses to Covid-19 are at odds with the ‘fair innings’ principle

The fair innings argument proposes that we should all be entitled to a “good” life – which, for simplicity, can approximated by how long it lasts. Most current policy responses to COVID-19 are at odds with this notion of equality over the course of one’s lifetime, argues Paul Dolan (LSE). They do not pay enough attention to the ages of all those who will die as a result of pandemic suppression policies. Policymakers need to urgently provide estimates of which groups will die prematurely as a result of their decisions.

Read the whole article here.

Prof. Dolan and Pinar Jenkins: Estimating the monetary value of the deaths prevented from the UK Covid-19 lockdown when it was decided upon – and the value of “flattening the curve”

“In tackling Covid-19, the UK made a very significant decision to move from a mitigation strategy to one of suppression in mid-March 2020. As with any decision, this brings benefits and creates costs. In this paper, we seek to provide an indicative value of the benefits from the policy shift. We calculate the expected monetary value of the deaths prevented using data available when the decision was made.”

Read the full article here.

Prof. Delaney and Prof. Dolan writing for The Irish Times: We need graphs for coronavirus misery as well as mortality

“In the current crisis, governments are paying enormous attention to the mortality risks of Covid-19 to the exclusion of the misery hits borne elsewhere. The only data presented at news conferences is that relating to the number of infections and deaths. Such data is transparent and provides an important summary of the loss of human life and the potential strain on healthcare.”

Read the full article here.

Prof. Paul Dolan on The Telegraph: The happiness professor’s guide to finding pleasure and purpose in lockdown

Paul Dolan is as ebullient over the phone as he is in real life. Lockdown, on the surface, has not dulled the spirits of the man nicknamed the “Professor of Happiness”.

A government adviser on wellbeing and author of two books, Happiness by Design and Happy Ever After, Dolan, a professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics, has long argued that we can redesign our lives for maximum happiness. “

Read the full article here.