The biosocial lives of birth cohorts
Dr Sahra Gibbon
University College London
Research that follows participants and their families throughout their lifetimes, known as birth cohort studies, are important for understanding how human biology and our environment – including social experiences and exposures to substances in our environment – interact, and how they affect our health or well-being. Researchers refer to this as biosocial research.
This four-year project will be one of the first social science studies to examine birth cohorts across different national contexts, including the UK, Europe and Latin America. I will examine how and why birth cohorts are sites of biosocial knowledge, the practices that produce birth cohorts and biosocial science and the meaning and consequences for cohort research participants.
Findings from my project will help us better understand the role of birth cohort studies for science in diverse national contexts, and to develop new ways for social, medical and life scientists to work together.