I find this inspiring for all sorts of reasons, not least that for 65 years government has continued to pour millions into a single public health research study. It tracks the life progression of 16 or so thousand people who were born in 1946, and has been expanded over time even to include parts of their genetics (and it will likely include all of their complete genomes before it’s done, given that the cost of doing this has come down so much). The continued funding is a no-brainer, really: the data just gets more and more valuable over time and is of pretty much universal benefit. Excerpt:

“It’s unique and groundbreaking in the history of epidemiology. It’s the only study to have chased an entire cohort across its life course — and it’s not yet finished,” says Ezra Susser, an epidemiologist who works with cohort studies at Columbia University in New York. He says that cohort research has been vital in seeding the idea that disease evolves as a result of events throughout life. “You gain enormous depth of understanding in how that disease came to be by following someone over their life course.”

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