Published on 3 April 2022
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Is it the government’s job to make us happy?

Leading experts discuss if and how policymakers can facilitate people's pursuit of happiness.

This podcast looks at why some people think we need policies for happiness and what those might mean. Leading experts discuss how to define and measure happiness, the drivers of happiness in different countries and societies, and what works and what doesn’t in terms of policy solutions and interventions.

This episode is hosted by Rory Cellan-Jones, and features guest experts Anna Alexandrova, Professor in Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of King’s College Cambridge, and Dr Jonathan Stieglitz, Associate Professor of Anthropology at IAST and the University of Toulouse 1 Capitole.

Listen to this episode on your preferred podcast platform.

Episode 7 transcript


For more information about the podcast and the work of the institutes, visit our websites at www.bennettinstitute.cam.ac.uk and www.iast.fr/

Tweet us with your thoughts at @BennettInst and @IASToulouse.

Audio production by Steve Hankey.
Podcast editing by Annabel Manley


More information about our guests:

Anna Alexandrova

Anna Alexandrova is a Professor in Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of King’s College Cambridge. She researches how formal tools such as models and indicators enable scientists to navigate complex phenomena tinged with ethical and political dimensions. Her book A Philosophy for the Science of Wellbeing came out with Oxford University Press in 2017 and won the 2022 Gittler Book Prize of the American Philosophical Association. She previously taught at the University of Missouri St Louis and completed her PhD at the University of California San Diego. She was born and brought up in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar.

Dr Jonathan Stieglitz

Dr Jonathan Stieglitz is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at IAST and the University of Toulouse 1 Capitole. His main research interest is studying the health and well-being of individuals in small-scale subsistence societies, in part to gain broader insights into how humans may have lived in the past. He is Co-Director of the Tsimane Health and Life History Project, a longitudinal study of the evolution of the human life course; the project began in 2002 and currently focuses on better understanding the development of certain non-communicable diseases among two native South American populations — the Tsimane and Moseten of Bolivia. 

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