Date / Time

9:00 am 24/10/2017 -

5:00 pm 26/10/2017

Location

The Novotel Sydney Brighton

The Novotel Sydney Brighton

At the Life Course Centre we do not just study deep and persistent disadvantage; our mission is to improve outcomes from those who are disadvantaged. For this conference, at the mid-point of the Centre’s mission, we want to highlight some of the projects that we are pursuing with our international, national, government and non-government partners. This conference is focused on the possibilities for positive change. What do we know about disadvantage? What is working to address disadvantage? What should we do next? The goal of the conference is for delegates to come together to critically analyse current work, and present solutions, and look for the next steps.

Life Course Centre Director Professor Janeen Baxter, along with researchers and staff, welcomed social science researchers from around the globe to the conference, with delegates from America, Europe, New Zealand, and all the Australian States and Territories. They also welcomed representatives from the Life Course Centre’s key partners and stakeholders, for what can only be described as a stimulating, thought-provoking and fascinating couple of days.

The Life Course Centre is committed to furthering our understanding of how disadvantage is transmitted within families and across generations. The conference presentations reflected this mission and ranged widely across a variety of issues facing societies today.

We would like to thank the following keynote speakers, who all provided absorbing insights into their research in the social science arena:

Professor Alissa Goodman is the Principal Investigator of the 1958 British Birth Cohort Study, leading the team responsible for developing its content, design and analysis. She gave us an extra-ordinary insight into how longitudinal studies like this one allow researchers to demonstrate how disadvantage can follow us throughout the life course.

The topic ‘geography of opportunity’, presented by Professor Rebekah Levine Coley, enhanced our understanding of the mechanisms associated with intergenerational transmission of advantage and disadvantage. Rebekah talked about how economic segregation, as well as access to cultural and social resources and exposure to stressors in urban areas, may be particularly important processes by which parents’ economic resources trickle down to their children’s development.

Professor Adrian Raine provided some thought-provoking data in his presentation ‘Fighting violence with better brains: A health perspective on crime’. According to Adrian, while violence is a major public health problem, it is less frequently appreciated that early health disadvantages increase a child’s risk for later antisocial, violent, and criminal behaviour. He outlined a range of interventions that can upregulate brain functioning in a way that can reduce antisocial and violent behaviour.

We also thank Andrew Sporle from the University of Auckland, and Professor Fiona Steele from the London School of Economics, for their contributions, along with all the other presenters who participated in the two-day program.

One of the best things about these kinds of events is the opportunity for colleagues to network, discuss, compare and to find synergies with fellow researchers and stakeholders.

Without a doubt, the International Life Course Conference 2017 was a resounding success, and our thanks go to everyone who took part or helped to organise the event.