Roberta Labelle, right, was one of the Centre's founding members. Her death in 1991 was unexpected and occurred when broad recognition for her research in health economics was just starting to emerge. In memory of Roberta, CHEPA and the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impacts collaborated on establishing the Annual Labelle Lectureship Series. In autumn of each year a health services researcher with emerging recognition and an inter-disciplinary approach to research, gives a general interest lecture on a topic in the broadly defined areas of health economics and/or health policy. The Labelle Lecturer is also available for consultations with individuals in and outside McMaster University during the period of his/her visit. An endowment was established to assure the ongoing funding of the Lectureship.
The 2017 lecture, Where India goes: Abandoned toilets, stunted development, and the costs of caste, was presented on Weds Sept. 13 by Dean Spears, PhD, executive director of the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics (R.I.C.E. institute).
The presentation addressed the health and economic development impact of the continuing practice in India of open defecation, which Spears says is an enduring consequence of the caste system. To watch a video of Spears' lecture, download this link using your browser:
For a list of previous Labelle Lecture speakers, click here.