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Children of the 90s teams up with M Shed

Press release issued: 30 November 2011

The University of Bristol's Children of the 90s will be hosting a free art exhibition at M Shed on Saturday 3 December to launch ‘Children of the 90s art online’.

On Saturday 3 December, Children of the 90s will be hosting a free art exhibition at M Shed. The event, which will run from 10 am to 5 pm , will see the launch of ‘ Children of the 90s art online’, an online exhibition that celebrates the best of this world-famous, Bristol-born, health-research project and features contributions from everyone involved in the study, from participants to Nobel Prize winners.

There will be a host of family-friendly activities on the day:

  • Quiz experts on everything from allergies and diet to drugs and genetics (12 noon - 4 pm)
  • Learn how to extract DNA from an onion or kiwi fruit (12 noon - 4 pm)
  • Check out amazing artefacts from the archive
  • See, hear and share stories about the project
  • Explore the study’s 20-year timeline

Children of the 90s was born in Bristol in 1991-1992 when 70 per cent (14,500) of all pregnant women in the area made an incredible commitment to take part in a study to improve the health of current and future generations. Thanks to those remarkable women and their children, we now know that eating oily fish when pregnant can improve a baby’s eyesight and IQ, and that exercising for just 15 minutes a day can cut the risk of childhood obesity in half.

Today Children of the 90s is known all over the world, with over 600 researchers working on topics ranging from healthy diets and heart disease to memory loss and muscle strength.

Speaking ahead of the event, Professor George Davey Smith, scientific director at Children of the 90s said: 'Next year we will be celebrating our 21st birthday, so this seemed like a good time to look back over the last 20 years and to ask everyone involved with the project to tell us what it means to them. Many Bristolians know about Children of the 90s because they are involved in it or know someone who is but not everyone will know about the incredible impact discoveries from the study have made all over the world. The people of Bristol should be proud that a project that is doing so much to improve the health of this and future generations was born here in Bristol and continues to thrive today.’

Jan Connett, the exhibition’s curator, added: ‘Almost everyone in Bristol knows someone who is involved with Children of the 90s. This exhibition begins to bring together their stories – through images, words, sound and video. Come and see what they have to say and find out about the mountains of data (and the floors literally sagging under the weight of completed questionnaires!), the clinic sessions, and the research findings.’

Philip Walker from M Shed added: ‘We're delighted to host this event at M Shed and are looking forward to a stimulating and fun day with opportunities for all visitors to join in with discussions and to find out more about Children of the 90s. This important research project involving Bristol families has made a massive contribution to our understanding of health issues and has led to some ground-breaking discoveries.’

Jenny Jopson, project manager of the 75th celebrations for the Wellcome Trust said: ‘We are delighted that so many of the Children of the 90s researchers and participants have been involved in this project. The Wellcome Trust is committed to supporting researchers to engage with their local communities about their research, and to tell the story of their work. We are proud to support this exhibition as part of the Wellcome Trust's 75th anniversary celebrations, which, like the Children of the 90s exhibition, have involved looking back over the years since our inception, and considering the challenges that the future will bring.

Further information

As the original ‘children’ approach their 21st birthday in 2012-2013, the study is growing to include their children, fathers, brothers and sisters and Children of the 90s would love to hear from anyone who thinks they or their family members might be eligible to take part in the study, even if they haven’t been involved for many years if at all. Come along to the exhibition and speak to any member of staff in a red t-shirt or tel 0117 331 0010; text ‘MSHED’ with your name and date of birth to 07789 753722 or email

Also on Saturday 3 December is ‘Christmas at M Shed’ with choirs singing, as well as printing and making activities to help decorate the tree.

Please contact for further information.
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