Volume 22 - Article 18 | Pages 539-548
Arthur Roger Thatcher's contributions to longevity research: A Reflexion
|Date received:||09 Mar 2010|
|Date published:||30 Mar 2010|
|Keywords:||centenarians, compression of mortality, Kannisto-Thatcher Database, longevity, M-Project, old age mortality, supercentenarians|
|Additional files:||1 Roger Thatcher in 2004 (JPG file, 936 kB)|
|2 Roger with his family his wife Betty and daughters Sue and Jill in 2000 (JPG file, 196 kB)|
|3 Roger and JM Robine at the first meeting of the M-Project in London in 2005 (JPG file, 558 kB)|
|4 Roger with SL Cheung at lunch after the last M-Project meeting in London in 2008 (JPG file, 3 MB)|
Arthur Roger Thatcher, CB, died in London on February 13, 2010, at 83 years of age. He was actively engaged in demographic research until his death. One of his last papers, The Compression of Deaths above the Mode, is published in this volume of Demographic Research (Thatcher et al., 2010). Roger signed the copyright agreement for the paper on January 24, just a few weeks before his death. Another contribution will appear in a forthcoming monograph entitled Supercentenarians (Maier et al., 2010). In this note, we, the co-authors of his Demographic Research paper, will briefly review his remarkable research accomplishments.
Roger Thatcher was born in Birmingham in 1926. He worked for 26 years as a statistician in several national government offices. Later, he served as Registrar General for England and Wales, and was Director of the Office of Population Censuses and Survey (OPCS) from 1978 to 1986. A short description of his professional career up to his retirement can be found in Population Trends (1986).
He had a long-standing affinity for the history of actuarial sciences and statistics in England, taking particular interest in the early years of the Statistical Society of London, and helping to compile extracts from its 1830s Proceedings (see Boreham et al., 1988 and Rosenbaum, 2001). He published a historical abstract (1970) of British labour-force statistics back to 1886. Thatcher was also a scientist with broad interests, publishing papers in a wide range of fields, such as archaeology, mathematics (number theory), and cosmology (1972, 1973 and 1982).
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