This Summer, we had the opportunity to interview Sir Ian Chalmers. This was a spontaneous, off-the-cuff interview we did in Iain’s back garden - so apologies for the odd gust of wind in the background, but the opportunity was too great to miss.
For those that don’t know Iain. In the 1970s, he became director of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU), which sowed the seeds for the development of the Cochrane Collaboration. A 1992 BMJ editorial (a must-read) invited investigators to contact the Cochrane Centre to collaborate on developing the register of controlled trials and dealing with the problem of unpublished trials. The three authors of the editorial called it Getting to Grips with Archie Cochrane’s Agenda.
What happened next was astonishing: from a small meeting of 77 like-minded folks from 11 countries who met in Oxford in 1993, Iain’s leadership established a major collaborative effort that developed high-quality evidence from systematic reviews.
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