IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Five decades of British science and social history charted in new podcast series

25 June 2020

A new podcast series celebrating 50 years of the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) begins today (Thursday, 25 June).

50 years of life in Britain - CLS podcast graphic

BCS70 is a birth cohort study following the lives of around 17,000 people born in England, Scotland and Wales in a single week of 1970. It is based in UCL Institute of Education’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies.

Over the next six weeks, ‘50 Years of Life in Britain’ will explore the contribution the BCS70 study members have made to improving British science and society. The six-part series will tell their story, and chart the first five decades of the study.

The podcasts will take listeners on a journey through British social and political history. With participants reminiscing about their involvement in the study, they’ll also tell us what it’s been like to grow up, learn, work, love and reach middle age in modern Britain. 

We’ll hear from the academics and staff who have driven the study forward, and the researchers whose findings have influenced public policy and scientific debate. We’ll also speak to the policymakers and politicians whose thinking has been shaped by the study’s most important discoveries.

In addition, the series will look to the present and future. We’ll hear how cohort members have fared during the COVID-19 lockdown, and discover how BCS70, and cohort studies in general, can help us understand the short and long term impacts of the pandemic. 

Professor Alice Sullivan, BCS70 Director, said: “I’d really like to wish the cohort members a very happy 50th birthday year. We’re so grateful for everything they’ve done for science and for helping to shape our understanding of the society we live in. 

“Through this podcast series, we celebrate their invaluable contribution, and the work of the academics and staff who kept the study going through turbulent times, and have helped it flourish in recent years.”

Episodes will be published every week on the CLS website from Thursday 25 June. Subscribe to ’50 Years of Life in Britain’ and look out for upcoming episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts