It is because of the pioneering research of Professor Joan McCord (1930-2004) that the Cambridge-Somerville Youth Study has become so well known in the field of criminology. This included her work on the 1956 and 1975-79 follow-ups as well as her voluminous scholarship resulting from this research.
It is also owing to her directorship of the study for more than 30 years (1956-59 and 1975-2004), her stewardship of the study during the intervening years, and her thorough tracing of participants and meticulous record keeping. The latter are directly responsible for maintaining the integrity of the experiment as well as making possible the 70-year follow-up and the investigation of other key research questions today.
More information on Joan McCord and the CSYS can be found at the American Society of Criminology’s Oral History Project and at Freakonomics Radio.