Wednesday, 9 March 2016

social studies or class and cohort

Wanting to assess the quality of maternity care just after the war, a steering committee was established in Britain in 1946, headed by Doctor James Douglas, which took a snap-shot of all the births in that country during the first week of March—the front wave of the Baby Boom generation.
Although the original mission was to improve conditions for expectant mothers and infants, the researchers quickly realised in the days before computerised data-bases what a unique trove of demographic figures they had and expanded scope and have sustained the project and have continued to follow five-thousand of these Douglas Babies. While the subjects of the National Survey does not represent the longest running scientific studies—that honour probably belongs to the pitch-drop experiment or those eternal light bulbs, it is the most intimate and extensive research into lifelong social studies with constant contact among participants and cements a legacy of preventative measures and proactive health. Hearty birthday wishes and many happy returns go out to the thousands of Douglas Babies who’ve reached this milestone this week.