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Could there be a better time to discuss the measurement of happiness than just before the extended national holiday that is the Diamond Jubilee weekend? On 29th May, academics including neuroscientist Tali Sharot and statistician Stephen Hicks will gather at University College London to muse on what the yardstick for jollity should be. Wellbeing is not just a matter of social class or income; it is influenced by genes as well as proximity to bunting.

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The Department of Health will appoint a new committee on 1st May, to provide advice on the fast-moving field of biosciences and healthcare. Among…

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