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

Naming & Praising update

The latest SIRC Naming and Praising awards – for responsible reporting of health issues – go to Nigel Hawkes at the Times , for his report on a study of smoking and mental decline, and to BBC News Online for their item on Crohn's Disease and vitamin D deficiency.

In both cases, the journalists draw attention to the limitations of the studies in the first few lines of their reports – a policy recommended by the SIRC/ Royal Institution Code of Practice. Nigel Hawkes points out in the second sentence of his article that the study showing faster mental decline in elderly smokers lasted only a year, and conflicts with previous evidence. The BBC report states, again in the second sentence, that it is still not clear whether vitamin D deficiency could be a cause or simply an effect of Crohn's Disease.

It is important to note that in neither of these cases do the disclaimers and caveats make the story less interesting to read; nor is the reader inclined to question the journalists' decision to report on such inconclusive findings. The Times and BBC reports provide accurate information on scientific 'work in progress', without resorting to sensationalism, scaremongering or patronising. These are textbook examples of responsible health reporting, which deserve to be highlighted and encouraged.

April 2000