‘Data, Science and Policy’ – 50 years of the 1970 British Cohort Study recording

As part of our celebration of 50 years of the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70), we hosted a live panel debate on 9 November 2020 that looked at the huge impact of the study on policy in the UK. Over 100 people joined us live.

The recordings are now available as a resource and are presented in two parts. A transcript of the event is available for download.

BCS70 is a birth cohort study that has been following the lives of around 17,000 people born in England, Scotland and Wales in a single week of 1970.

The event looked at the following areas:

  • How has BCS70 contributed to data, policy and practice on issues as diverse as the gender pay gap, early years education provision and the benefits of reading for pleasure?
  • What are the challenges when looking to influence policymakers?
  • How can BCS70 (and longitudinal research) continue to affect policy in the future?

The event was introduced by Alice Sullivan, Professor of Sociology and Head of Research for the Social Research Institute. Alice is author of influential BCS70 research on inequalities in education and society.

It was chaired by Dr Lee Elliot Major, OBE, Professor of Social Mobility, University of Exeter.


  • Professor John Bynner, former BCS70 director, who conducted the literacy and numeracy research that informed the Skills for Life initiative (2001-2011).
  • Jenny Dibden, Head of the Government Social Research Service and Co-Director Cities and Local Growth Unit.
  • Professor Leon Feinstein, University of Oxford, author of one of the most well-known BCS70 studies, which influenced New Labour policy on early years education provision.
  • Dr Praveetha Patalay, Associate Professor, UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies and author of influential longitudinal research looking at mental health and health-related behaviours.


‘Data, Science and Policy’ panel session – 9 November 2020



Contact us

Centre for Longitudinal Studies
UCL Social Research Institute

20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL

Email: clsdata@ucl.ac.uk

Follow us