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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Jean Golding: a tale of illness, adventure and statistics

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On Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) - Tuesday 14 October 2014) , Suzi Gage shares an extract from a book chapter.

To find out the rest of Jean’s story, the ebook (also featuring chapters on Dorothy Hodgkin, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Joan Feynman, and a host of other amazing women) is available here.

Last year, Ada Lovelace Day produced an ebook, for which I wrote a chapter about Jean Golding, the woman who set up Children of the 90s, the dataset I use for my PhD.

Photo: Portrait of Ada by British painter Margaret Sarah Carpenter (1836)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

I’m very lucky, when it comes to research. Not only is my PhD on something that I find really interesting, but to do it I get to use one of the finest epidemiological resources that currently exists in the UK. Children of the 90s is a huge dataset containing biological, psychological, social and medical information about a group of children, their parents, and soon their siblings and their own children as well. The dataset is world renowned, with hundreds of papers published using the data, from researchers across the world.

The woman behind it, Jean Golding, is a quietly spoken lady. Although no longer directly involved in the running of the cohort, she still conducts research using the data, and is often seen at talks and events in the department. In 2012 she was made an OBE for her role in setting up and developing the cohort. But her journey to this point was far from straightforward, involving illness, personal hardship, hard work, and even smuggling (for a good cause)!

Source: The Guardian