Online event: 22 April 2021

Thank you to all those who attended our special online celebration of 50 years of BCS70 on 22 April. It was wonderful that so many of you could join us. We hope you enjoyed it!

Missed it? Not to worry, you can watch it on catch-up below, or read the transcript.

You will hear from the study team, find out more about BCS70 research and the policies it has influenced, and catch a glimpse of the BCS70 archives.

We’ve also posted answers to some of the questions we didn’t have time to answer during the event, which you can find below.

Q&A

Unfortunately we were not able to answer all of your questions on the day due to the volume of messages, but here are answers to some of the most popular questions asked during the event.

The study in numbers

1. How many cohort members live outside the UK?

To the best of our knowledge around 1800 study members are now living overseas.

2. How many study members have passed away?

Sadly approximately 1200 study members have died over the 51 years of BCS70. This figure includes the 425 babies included in the very first survey who were lost before they could live.

3. Is the whole cohort used in every survey?

We invite all study members that we have contact details for to take part in major surveys. If we haven’t been in touch for a while, please contact us as we’d love to have you back!

Most of our surveys involve a face-to-face visit, so it’s not often practical for us to involve people living overseas in our surveys. However, our recent COVID-19 surveys were online surveys and we were pleased to be able to invite those living overseas to take part. As the study goes forward, it’s likely that we’ll make more use of online data collection, so we hope that we’ll be able to invite those of you living overseas to take part more often.

Sometimes we only ask some of you to take part in a “sub-study” (such as these) but most of the time we ask all of you living in Great Britain, and who we have contact details for, to take part in our surveys.

4. What is the male to female ratio in the cohort?

In the first survey in 1970, 52% of the babies were male and 48% were female.

In our most recent survey which took place between 2016 and 2018, 48% of participants were male and 52% were female.

 

Dealing with data

5. How is BCS70 data anonymised to protect our identities?

We go to great lengths to maintain your privacy. We respect that you have voluntarily given information to us on the basis that we protect your rights. We keep any information which could identify you in a secure location.

At the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), the study data is managed by two different teams, all of whom have signed strict confidentiality contracts and can only access this information for limited purposes. One team deals with your personal contact information to make sure we are able to stay in touch with you. The other manages all the other information you provide in the survey. Neither team has access to both.

The organisations which carry out the surveys are also contractually bound by very strict confidentiality and data security agreements.

The collected survey responses are made available to the research community through the data stores used by CLS. These research data do not contain any personal details that are identifiable at individual level and are only made available to researchers who register with the relevant data store and they must work under a strict licence agreement. No-one using the data will know who the information has come from, or who is in the study.

To find out more, please check out privacy & data protection FAQs, and our privacy notice.

6. How do you request your responses to previous surveys?

If you’d like to request your responses to previous surveys, please use the contact form on our website or email us at bcs70@ucl.ac.uk. Please bear in mind this can take some time due to unprecedented interest since the start of the pandemic.

 

Looking back

7. Why was that particular week in 1970 chosen?

Records suggest that this particular week in April was chosen to as closely as possible match the dates when two previous cohort studies in 1946 and 1958 were surveyed, each 12 years apart. In fact, the earlier cohorts followed babies born in the first week of March but it’s possible that logistically the 1970 British Cohort Study was not in a position to start the study until your week.

8. Is it possible to see my Age 10 drawing (as featured in the 51st Birthday card)?

You can request your Age 10 drawing by using the contact form on our website or emailing us at bcs70@ucl.ac.uk. Please bear in mind this might take a bit of time as we have been receiving a lot more requests of this nature recently.

 

Looking forward

9. Will there be more cohort member events in the future?

Yes, we hope so. We had a great reaction to April’s event and we see this as an important way to engage with the study members.

10. Will the BCS70 parties be rescheduled?

We had planned 5 parties across the UK to celebrate your 50th birthday, which we had to postpone a few times due to the pandemic. Unfortunately we have decided to cancel these, as we cannot guarantee your safety in the near future. Despite the vaccination rollout, there are still many unknowns, including variants, and your safety is our main concern. We hope to be able to plan other events in the future.

11. When can I visit the BCS70 woodland?

The scheduled planting of the woodland is autumn 2021, which is the best time of the year to do this. We will keep you updated on the Tree planting page on our website, and on the BCS70 Facebook page.

12. Will you ask us questions about the menopause in future surveys?

Yes – we are very much aware that menopause and associated symptoms can have a huge impact on women’s lives and as such, the ‘Life in Your Early 50s Survey’ which will be launching later this year will indeed include a series of questions on this very important topic.