Failed epidemiology study:
It seemed like a good idea at the time.  The Brits (Helen Pearson Massive UK Baby Study Cancelled Nature vol. 526 no. 7575 October 29, 2015 page 620) were going to put together a womb to the tomb study of 100,000 people, starting with recruiting 16,000 from a clinic near London; funding was in place even in these hard times.  It was to be a boon to science and ultimately to everybody.  They were hoping to recruit a substantial number of women who would have their babies joining the study from minorities; they did not expect that to be easy going from history.  In the event, they managed before the deadline to recruit 249.  So they gave it up.

Let’s see, that’s just under 1/64 of expectation.  There was no pay incentive to join, so far as I know, although there were going to be a lot of epidemiologists with an assured career and access to a lot of data.  So what gives?

I recon there were three incentives for a woman to sign up her unborn child.  A couple of them of course would be the intrinsic interest in science watching the numbers unfold and also occasionally dropping by a clinic for a chance to get out and socialize however briefly without spending any money except for the trip.  The other incentive would be that the study might turn up something relevant to the health of the child that would not otherwise emerge.  So the virtues needed were curiosity, sociability, maternal caring and you might also want to toss in social concern.  It sounds like it was going to be a number of really nice ladies. 

Are we to conclude that there are not many women like that?  You might, but I find it a little hard to believe.  My opinion is that such women are not planning to have babies.  You know.  It’s the old demographic thing.  The kinship of their relatively recent ancestors has regularly been so low that nature has turned their biological clocks off.  Selection demands that.  If the  population or randomly socializing people is too big, then the population is doomed in the long run.  Go back to and read it, or read it again if you have not learned the key points.  Where the elite lead, the mass will follow.  A 98+ % shortfall in births is something nobody is prepared for.  It bodes ill.

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