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Home » Lessons From The Longest Study On Human Development: Helen Pearson (Transcript)

Lessons From The Longest Study On Human Development: Helen Pearson (Transcript)

Here is the full text and summary of science journalist Helen Pearson’s talk: Lessons From The Longest Study On Human Development at TED conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:


Helen Pearson – Journalist

Today I want to confess something to you, but first of all I’m going to ask you a couple of questions.

How many people here have children? And how many of you are confident that you know how to bring up your children in exactly the right way?

OK, I don’t see too many hands going up on that second one, and that’s my confession, too. I’ve got three boys; they’re three, nine and 12. And like you, and like most parents, the honest truth is I have pretty much no idea what I’m doing.

I know I want them to be happy and healthy in their lives, but I don’t really know what I’m supposed to do to make sure they are happy and healthy. I mean there’re so many books out there offering all kinds of conflicting advice, it can be really overwhelming.

So I’ve spent most of their lives just making it up as I go along.

However, something changed me a few years ago, when I came across a little secret that we have in Britain. It’s helped me become more confident about how I bring up my own children, and it’s revealed a lot about how we as a society can help all children.

I want to share that secret with you today.

For the last 70 years, scientists in Britain have been following thousands and thousands of children through their lives as part of an incredible scientific study. There’s nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world.

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