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13:10 - 13:55 27 November 2018

Lunch Hour Lecture: What Can the ONS Longitudinal Study Tell Us about Time Travel and about the Force?


Darwin Lecture Theatre | Darwin Building (link Map)
access via Malet Place | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom

Open to: Alumni | Public | Academic | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Ticketed

Speaker information

Dr Oliver Duke-Williams, Senior Lecturer, Dept of Information Studies, UCL Faculty of Arts & Humanities, Dr Oliver Duke-Williams is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Information Studies in the Department of Information Studies at UCL; he has been at UCL since 2011, having previously worked in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds. He is a CoInvestigator in the ESRC-funded UK Data Service, focussing on delivery of census data as part of the Data Service' holdings, His research interests include access to demographic data, disclosure control issues, especially those associated with migration and commuting data, and the past, present and future of census taking and other demographic information capture in the UK.

The ONS Longitudinal Study is a sample of around 1% of persons in England and Wales, drawn from the decennial census. The sample comprises all people born on four (undisclosed) days spread through the year. Sample members’ census records from 1971 through to 2011 are linked together. This lecture describes the study for those who have not used it before – and explains how to apply to use it – by drawing on two examples. Firstly, we consider the film Back To The Future, and ask ‘what can the census tell us about time-travel?’. Mirroring the plot structure as far as we can, we compare the outcomes of people who were teenagers in the mid-1950s and people who were teenagers in the mid-1980s. Secondly, we turn to the Star Wars films, and consider the extent of faith of people who indicated in the 2001 Census that they followed the Jedi religion. Does the option to self-identify as Jedi encourage people to complete a census return, when otherwise they might not have done so?


Kimberly Hemming


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