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Illustrating inequalities

23 May 2016

Illustration by Ella Furness
The Wealth Parade - illustration used with permission from Ella Furness

Professor Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford will deliver the Annual Julian Tudor Hart Lecture in Cardiff on Thursday 7 July 2016.

The lecture, the tenth in a series organised by the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD), will have an additional Cardiff connection in the form of illustrations by a PhD student in the School of Social Sciences.

Ella Furness provided the illustrations for Professor Dorling’s 2016 book, A Better Politics: How Government Can Make Us Happier. The book is published by London Publishing Partnership and a free PDF version can be downloaded online.

She also illustrated Professor Dorling's recent article for The Conversation on why Britain's class system will have to change.

Ella got in touch with Professor Dorling following a lecture he gave on housing inequality as part of a University Graduate College induction day here in Cardiff. Cartoonist Ella emailed him after he mentioned in passing that he would like to explore illustrating data more.

She said: “It's been really nice, I love doing my research but I miss drawing and feel really strongly that a lot of social research really needs to be communicated interestingly and engagingly outside of academia. Illustrating can really widen the audience I think, or at least break up the text a bit and make people curious.

“A lot of social research strongly demonstrates that austerity economics is terrible for the poorest people in our society and the gap between the rich and poor is widening in Britain, it feels to like we are sliding backwards. Danny's work and writing reminds politicians of that and I feel very glad to have the opportunity to help out with that job.”

Ella is a Sustainable Places Research Institute PhD student and is currently researching community participation in ecological restoration. Find more information on both her research and her illustrations at her personal website.

Professor Dorling’s talk, A Better Politics: How Government Can Make Us Happier and Healthier’, is free to attend but tickets must be booked in advance.