CLOSER, in collaboration with London Walks, is offered this guided walking tour as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s 2016 Festival of Social Science.
About the walking tour
In March 1946, as the country reeled in the aftermath of World War II, British scientists set out on an extraordinary mission – to interview the parents of all babies born in a single week. Little did they know that they would continue to follow those babies throughout their entire lives, inspiring a 70-year tradition of tracking generations of British people from birth to death.
The UK’s longitudinal studies have collected information on every aspect of their participants’ lives – from their family, to education and employment, health and how they age. The studies have been credited with discoveries ranging from the negative effects of smoking during pregnancy, to the effect of poverty on child development.
The walk was led by experienced Blue Badge Guide Kim Dewdney and covered the Bloomsbury area, highlighting the history and findings of the UK’s longitudinal studies, stories from the lives of the people involved, and how these remarkable studies have shaped and been shaped by modern British history.