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Is Life Getting Better?

I think this is one of the defining questions of our times. The answer may seem obvious, or the question so broad as to be meaningless. But there are good reasons why we should take it seriously.

Welcome To Richard Eckersley

This site provides free access to my writing for scientific journals, specialist magazines and popular media. My book, Well & Good, can also be downloaded free from the site.

My work explores questions such as:

How do we define and measure human progress and development?
What are the relationships between economic growth, a high quality of life and a healthy environment?
How is modern Western culture affecting our health and happiness?
Are young people taking the prize or paying the price of progress?
How do we see the future of humanity?

Well & Good

In the 1970s, I spent two years travelling overseas, through Africa, Western and
Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and Asia. Like many long-term travellers, I found
that the most difficult cultural adjustment I had to make was on my return home....

My initial celebration of the material richness and comfort of the Western way of
life soon gave way to a growing apprehension about its emotional harshness, social
distances and spiritual desiccation.’

- From Well & Good, p. 43

Download E Book

Recent Media Articles

Americans long for personal and social transformation — but mainstream politics and media are trapped in the past. (This 5,000-word essay is also listed under ‘Scientific papers’. Shorter versions have also been published and are available under ‘Media’ articles.)

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With the COVID-19 pandemic laying waste to the country, and President Trump’s chances of re-election fading, America is at last beginning to look more deeply into the country’s problems.

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Concerns about humanity’s future are not new, but the events of 2020 – bushfires, COVID-19 and economic mayhem – are doubtless ramping them up.

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Recent Scientific Papers

Podcast  interview about my life and futures work.

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A dangerous gulf exists between Americans’ concerns about their lives, their country and their future, and the proclivities and pre-occupations of the country’s politics and media. This is, to varying extents, also the predicament of other Western democracies.

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Global politics is based on an outmoded and increasingly destructive model of human progress and development. Can science change a dire situation?

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