Professor Neal Halfon pays tribute to the legacy of Professor Neville Butler

21 April 2009

Neal Halfon, Professor of Pediatrics at the Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities, University of California, Los Angeles, delivered the inaugural Neville Butler Memorial Lecture at Imperial College, London, on April 3.

Neal Halfon, Professor of Pediatrics at the Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities, University of California, Los Angeles, delivered the inaugural Neville Butler Memorial Lecture at Imperial College, London, on April 3.

Professor Halfon paid tribute to the lasting legacy of Professor Butler, who established both the 1958 and 1970 birth cohort studies and was also closely involved with the Millennium Cohort Study until shortly before his death in 2007 at the age of 86. He said that Neville Butler had been not only a leading researcher and paediatrician but a visionary.

He then outlined how the US hopes to build on the work of the British birth cohort studies with its own National Children’s Study, which will involve 100,000 children who are to be followed until the age of 21. In the final section of his lecture, Professor Halfon considered how the UK and US longitudinal studies are paving the way for a paradigm shift in how health is conceptualised, and health care is organised.

The annual lecture series is supported by the Neville Butler Estate and Memorial Fund and is being administered jointly by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies and Longview, the independent think tank that promotes longitudinal research in the UK.

Professor Halfon’s PowerPoint presentation, “Light on the Longterm: from the British cohorts to the US National Children’s Study”, can be found at http://www.healthychild.ucla.edu/DropDownMenu/Powerpoints/NButler_UK_4_3_09.pdf