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Book review: The Life Project by Helen Pearson

By Philip Ball   April 2016

Allen Lane, £20Life proj

Four studies in the past 70 years have collected vast amounts of information about the lifestyles, health, attitudes and social status of more than 70,000 people in the UK. Collectively these four unrivalled “cohorts” supply a wealth of data for social, medical and epidemiological research. The findings have been used to unravel everything from the risks of home births to the link between smoking and lung cancer and the effect of class on education and opportunity.

But, as science writer Helen Pearson explains, the genesis and evolution of these…

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