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Science
THE MATERIAL WORLD
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Thursday 16:30-17:00
Quentin Cooper reports on developments across the sciences. Each week scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 22 March
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QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
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Thursday 22 March 2007
Civil servants
Civil servants are the focus of the
Whitehall I and II studies

Longitudinal Studies

For forty years, a dedicated team of researchers has been monitoring the wellbeing of thousands of civil servants. Not out of any particular concern for their health, but to discover how lifestyle and social class can affect our chances in the medical world.

Whitehall I, as the study has become known, reveals that mortality rates are four times higher for the lowest civil service grades than for the top ones.

Now Whitehall II is trying to dig behind the headline to look for the causes.

Quentin Cooper talks to the current head of the project Sir Michael Marmot, and to Professor George Davey-Smith of the similar ‘Children of the '90s’ Avon study to find out the trials and tribulations of long-term longitudinal health studies.

Alternative Health Degrees

Alternative Health is on trial in the journal Nature this week with pharmacologist David Colquhoun accusing several universities of offering science degrees devoid of science, in topics like homeopathy and integrated health.

He’s joined in the studio by David Peters, Clinical Director at the University of Westminster School of Integrated Health, to discuss what is and what isn’t ‘science’.
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