How to live to 100 and tell people about it!

by Teresa McGowan

We are all living longer; since 1850, we’ve gained around 2.5 years of life expectancy per decade and it’s estimated that one in three children born today will live to be 100 years old. In Europe there is one retiree for every four people of working age, by 2060 this is expected to rise to one in two.

In our exhibition, ‘How to get to 100 – and enjoy it’, we ask people to explore how our early years, lifestyle, work and where we live can affect our lifespan. Continue reading

Our longitudinal future – providing robust evidence for policy across the life course, from newborns right through to older age

by Alissa Goodman

The ESRC last week published its Longitudinal Studies Strategic Review, a report by an international panel, which was commissioned by the ESRC to review its investment in longitudinal studies.

The panel recognised that, thanks to the ESRC, the UK has a strong and unique mix of cohort and panel studies, which will serve social science and beyond in the decades to come.

What does this mix consist of?
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Taking a stand against bullying: Addressing mental health problems from within

by Louise Arseneault

Many people have childhood memories of being pushed around and being punched by other pupils when we felt you couldn’t retaliate. They may also remember being the topic of nasty rumours or being excluded by others. Unfortunately, being bullied is not an unusual experience, even today.

Similar to maltreatment, bullying involves abusive behaviours where it is more difficult for the victims to defend themselves. But in contrast to maltreatment, these abusive behaviours are perpetrated by others of the same age. The research I have been conducting for the past 15 years – alongside great collaborators – emphasises the importance of moving away from the common perception that bullying is a just an unavoidable part of growing up.

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We need to rethink ‘impact’ – the findings from the Longitudinal Studies Strategic Review

by Rebecca Fairbairn

In 2016 the ESRC set out to review our vast Longitudinal Studies portfolio with an aim to fully understand the future scientific needs for survey data gathered on people throughout their lives. We did this to ensure the development of meaningful, robust and impactful research resources: resources that would be as relevant to society in the future as those we currently support are now.

The ESRC’s portfolio has data spanning 60 years with studies including the 1958 National Child Development Study, the 1970 British Cohort Study, the Millennium Cohort Study (all hosted by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies) and Understanding Society. Although the UK is world-leading in this sector and impacts from these studies relate to increased understanding of genetic, health, educational, social and economic dynamics that influence individuals’ lives, it was essential that we took a step back so that we could be confident our future investment plans are well designed for future research needs. Continue reading

Bringing social science into the forefront of interdisciplinary research – a reflection of my time at the ESRC

by Tony McEnery

Former ESRC Director of Research and interim Chief Executive, Tony McEnery, reflects on some personal highlights and organisational successes during his time at ESRC.

I have had the unique privilege of working as Director of Research in two of the UK research councils – the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and, more recently, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It will come as no surprise to discover, then, that for me cross-council working comes easily – which was handy while steering the ESRC towards the move into UK Research and Innovation! Continue reading