Motherhood in Western Europe

Insights from Western European Mothers

The changing face of motherhood — Western Europe

The accompanying reports combine a review of existing literature with an analysis of original quantitative data derived from a poll of 9,582 mothers from 12 countries in Western Europe, making it one of the largest studies of this kind ever conducted

Child Obesity and Health

An analysis of the latest available data from the Health Survey for England (HSE)

Child Obesity and Health — download the full report in pdf format

In this ‘National Childhood Obesity Week’, the SIRC report, Children, obesity and heath: Recent trends, holds up a true mirror, accurately reflecting the trend towards slimmer, healthier children. more

The Future of Freemasonry

An examination of the role of Freemasonry in the 21st century


This report is, as far as we know, an account of the first ever study that has been commissioned by Freemasons from a non-Masonic body. None of the SIRC members involved in the project are Freemasons, a fact that evoked surprise and welcome in equal measure from the Lodge members we met. more

The Changing Face of Motherhood

Insights from three generations of mothers


The report seeks to answer some specific questions about the changing face of motherhood and determine the extent to which modern ‘solutions’ to motherhood are more or less beneficial than the solutions of the past. more

Lords confirm need for SIRC / RI Code

SIRC's concern for more accurate and balanced reporting of science and health issues has been echoed by the Lords Science and Technology Committee. The committee's chairman, Lord Jenkin, notes the need for a "real two-way dialogue between the scientists and the public" (Telegraph) and argues that there should be more rigorous guidelines for science journalists because "many scientists feel that they do it badly." (BBC) (See also Independent and Guardian)

The Royal Society, working with the Lords Committee, has now produced guidelines for scientists on communicating with the media and notes for editors on handling science stories. The work being conducted by Social Issues Research Centre, in conjunction with the Royal Institution and the Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology, on a Code of Practice for Science and Health Communication will incorporate many of the points made in these guidelines. There is a need, however, for a Code which not only clarifies what 'accuracy', 'fairness' and 'distortion' amount to in the science and health fields but which is aimed specifically at reducing the inappropriate 'scaremongering' in which the media often engage.

SIRC's draft of the Code of Practice for journalists and broadcasters has now been prepared and has received widespread endorsement from leading figures in the science, health and media professions. A parallel Code for scientists and health researchers is also near completion. These will shortly be published on this web site and a discussion forum will be open to all who wish to make comments. We look forward to lively debate.