You're viewing an archived page from a previous Festival of Ideas. See this year's festival »
Just how big a problem is poverty in the UK and who is impacted most? Join Claire Ainsley, Joseph Rowntree Foundation Executive Director, Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, and Helen Pearson, author of The Life Project, as they discuss the scale of the problem and how it is affecting life chances for the most vulnerable in our society. The session is chaired by Chris Renwick of the University of York.
Claire Ainsley is JRF Executive Director with strategic oversight of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF)'s policy and research, analysis and communications. She is responsible for driving forward JRF’s strategy to inspire action to solve UK poverty. Claire joined JRF in November 2013 as Director of Communications and External Affairs. She was appointed JRF Executive Director in December 2017. She leads work on understanding the social and political attitudes of people in poverty, and chaired the task group of JRF’s strategy to solve UK poverty.
Prior to joining JRF, Claire worked in public affairs and communications in the public and voluntary sectors, and for the UK's largest trade union. She has a BA in Politics from the University of York and an MSc in Global Politics from the University of London. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Political Studies Association and part of their Communications and Engagement Advisory Group. She is also a member of the advisory board of the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life. Her book The New Working Class: how to win hearts, minds and votes was published in May 2018 by Policy Press.
Helen Pearson is a science journalist, editor and author. As Chief Magazine Editor for Nature, the world’s leading science journal, she oversees all its journalism and opinion content. Her own stories have won accolades including the Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award and two best feature awards from the Association of British Science Writers.
Helen’s popular science book, The Life Project, was published in 2016 to critical acclaim. It was named best science book of the year by The Observer, was a book of the year for The Economist, was longlisted for the Orwell Prize and Highly Commended in the British Medical Association book awards 2017. It tells the story of the British birth cohorts, a remarkable series of scientific studies that have tracked generations of children growing up in Britain over the last 70 years, and how the results shaped medical and social policy. Helen has a degree in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in genetics.
Dr Chris Renwick is a Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of York. A historian of Britain since the early 19th century, his main area of expertise is the relationship between biology, social science, and politics - in particular how the interaction of the three has shaped the way we think about, study, and govern society. He has published widely on these subjects, including Bread for All: The Origins of the Welfare State (Allen Lane, 2017), which was recently short-listed for the Longman-History Today Book Prize and long-listed for the Orwell Prize.