iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Happy families? - Science's first mistake

Listen now 30 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Happy families? - Science's first mistake

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 27 October 2010

Was there ever a golden age of the family? Political debates about the family often invoke a norm of family life in which marriages lasted and children thrived. But a new report suggests that pre-marital sex, cohabitation, single parenthood and illegitimacy have been rife for two centuries. It's the post war period from 1945-1970 which is unusual for its high rates of enduring marriages. Many people in the past didn't ever marry because of the problems in obtaining or affording a divorce. The historian Professor Pat Thane discusses families, real and ideal, with Laurie Taylor. Also, are most scientific claims little more than delusions? The Professor of Information Systems, Ian Angell talks about his co-authored book 'Science's First Mistake' which critiques science's claims to 'truth'.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.

  • Pat Thane

    Professor of Contemporary British History at the Institute of Historical Research

    Happy Families? History and policy
    (2010) a report prepared for the British Academy

    Find out more about Pat Thane
  • Ian Angell

    Professor of Information Systems at the Department of Management, London School of Economics

    Science's First Mistake: Delusions in Pursuit of Theory
    By Ian Angell and Dionysios Demetis.
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
    ISBN-10: 1849660646
    ISBN-13: 978-1849660648

    Find out more about Ian Angell


The Open University

Open University logo

Analysis and insights related to Thinking Allowed programmes.

Nominations for the Thinking Allowed Award for Ethnography are now closed

Laurie Taylor

A new annual award for a study that has made a significant contribution to ethnography

Free download

  1. Image for Thinking Allowed

    Thinking Allowed

    Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works and discusses current ideas on how…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.