Longview Conference 2008

This year’s Longview conference took place again in St. Catherine’s College on 2nd/3rd October 2008. It was the best attended of all our conferences with over 80 people signing up for the meeting and around this number attending on each of the two days. As ever the conference provided a valuable opportunity to listen to a series of excellent talks and network with a wide range of others with a shared interest in longitudinal data and research.

Day 1 comprised updates on longitudinal data strategy. This began with Professor Peter Elias (University of Warwick), the National Data Co-ordinator for The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), talking about national strategy, especially in relation to the £28.5 million that had been allocated to cohort study development in the second phase of successful ESRC funding applications, to the Large Scale Facilities Fund. This time the bid was made jointly with the Medical Research Council (MRC). The broad outline of the proposal comprised an infra structure for co-ordination and harmonisation of work across the cohort studies and the development of the design and implementation for a new cohort study in 2012. One of the major themes of the new development, focuses on the bio-social interface, especially through gene environment interactions and epigenetics. This would be pursued in all the cohort studies and particularly the new one.

Peter Elias’s talk was followed by updates from "Understanding Society", (previously called the UK Household Longitudinal Study), the Millennium Cohort Study, the 1958 and 1970 cohort studies, the 1946 birth cohort study and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). All studies would, in the next year or two, be producing new data and new methods for collecting it, e.g. clinic based in the 1946 study. Use of respondents in an advisory panel was also a strong feature of ALSPAC to bring young people back into the survey and was proving very effective.

The first session was followed by a reception at which the new on-line Journal, Longitudinal and Life Course Studies was launched to general enthusiasm by delegates. The first issue will be published in April 2009. The reception was followed by the college dinner achieving the usual high standards of St. Catherine’s. Following dinner there were two parallel meetings – one, a consultation on future plans for the 1958, 1970 and Millennium Cohort Studies - the other, for members of the Editorial Board present at the conference on the technical features of the OJS system through which the Journal would be operated.

Day 2 was devoted to the theme of intergenerational continuities and escape from childhood disadvantage. The series of four highly stimulating talks were given by respectively, John Goldthorpe, Leon Feinstein, Doria Pilling and Kathy Sylva with her PhD student, James Hall. In Anthony Heath’s absence through illness, the final discussion was led by David Blane and Mel Bartley. Overall it was agreed to be a successful and interesting session, which prepares the ground nicely for new programmes of research in this area and the Longview conference devoted to “Parents Matter” to be held in London on March 26th and 27th, 2009.

To view the Longview Conference 2008 Programme please click here

Other Longview events announced at the conference included the Neville Butler Memorial Prize and the Neville Butler Memorial Lecture.


Conference presentations:

Peter Elias - A Strategic Approach to the Development of Longitudinal Data: progress, outcomes and future plans

Leon Feinstein - Public Housing and Social Mobility, 1946 - 2003

Heather Joshi - Millennium Cohort Study

Jane Elliott - NCDS and BCS70: content and design of the 2008 sweeps

Lynn Malloy - ALSPAC

Nick Buck - Understanding Society: the UK Household Longitudinal Study

Diana Kuh - MRC National Survey of Health & Development: an update


More to follow...