José Manuel Aburto awarded Silver Medal from the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters

Congratulations to Dr José Manuel Aburto, who has been awarded the Silver Medal from the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, thanks to his research on the topic of inequality.

A member of the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, José researches the long-term consequences of inequality in the health and mortality of the global population. In particular, he investigates how structural shocks, such as increased violence – and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic – can affect this inequality. 

Most recently, he was part of a team of researchers who highlighted the dramatic racial and ethnic differences in US life expectancy and mortality during the pandemic. The paper found that, in 2020, life expectancy for Hispanic and Black males saw reductions of 4.5 years and 3.6 years respectively, compared with a decrease of 1.5 years for White males.

José's approach has been praised for its interdisciplinarity, utilising a number of methods including computer science and statistics. The adjudication committee behind the award also noted:

[José's] research has reached an important audience outside the research community, including policy makers, just as it has also reached the wider public.

The Silver Medal is awarded annually to a researcher under the age of 40, to recognise significant research published within the last five years. The Medal comes with a grant of DKK 100,000 (c. 13,000 USD), which José plans to use to continue developing demographic models that increase understanding of the pandemic's long-term consequences in low- and middle-income countries. It will also be used to strengthen a collaborative network between young researchers from South America and Africa.

More information about José and his award can be found here.

jose manuel aburto in black and white