We are a team of academics, medical students and programmers, based from the Bennett Institute for Applied Data Science, at the University of Oxford.
Dr. Ben Goldacre
Ben Goldacre is a doctor, academic, campaigner and writer whose work focuses on uses and misuses of science and statistics by journalists, politicians, drug companies and quacks.
His first book Bad Science reached #1 in the UK non-fiction charts and has sold over half a million copies worldwide. His second book Bad Pharma discusses problems in medicine, focusing on missing trials, badly designed research, and biased dissemination of evidence. His third is a collection of columns and papers. He wrote the Bad Science column for a decade in the UK Guardian newspaper, and has written for the Times, the Telegraph, the Mail, the New York Times, the BMJ, and more, alongside presenting documentaries for the BBC, and appearing regularly on radio and TV.
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In policy work, he is co-author of a 2012 UK government Cabinet Office paper on getting more randomised controlled trials on policy questions; conducted an independent external review in 2012 for the Department for Education on how to improve the use of evidence in teaching; and is co-founder of AllTrials, a campaign by doctors, academics, funders, pharmacists, professional bodies, patients and the public, to prevent trial results being withheld.
Ben is currently a Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in the Department of Primary Care in the University of Oxford, and a Research Fellow in Epidemiology at LSHTM. He runs the Bennett Institute for Applied Data Science in the University of Oxford and builds interesting live data tools to improve science and healthcare, like OpenPrescribing and OpenTrials. His blog is at badscience.net and he is @bengoldacre on Twitter.
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Henry Drysdale is a graduate-entry medical student at St Anne’s College, Oxford. He graduated with a first class BSc in Physics from Imperial College London, where he specialised in medical imaging and computational physics. He is also a Physics and Maths tutor for A-Level and undergraduate students in Oxford.
Henry has a special interest in anesthetics, in which he plans to pursue a clinical and academic career. He is also passionate about improving the quality of evidence on which clinical decisions are made.
Aaron Dale is a graduate-entry medicine student at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. He holds a BA in Natural Sciences and an MSci in Biochemistry from Churchill College, University of Cambridge. Aaron completed an MRC Capacity-Building PhD Studentship in drug discovery at The School of Pharmacy, University College London for work on the symmetric bis-benzimidazole series of compounds as potential anti-microbial agents.
He has personally volunteered as a patient in several phase 1 clinical trials and has a keen interest in improving the standards of clinical trial reporting to build a stronger evidence base for medical treatments. He has contributed to several articles in the Student BMJ on how to improve evidence-based medicine.
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Conflicts of interest and payments: Aaron works part time as a private tutor for A-level and GCSE biology and chemistry. He has received payment for presentations at medical careers events and for undergraduate teaching at Imperial College London.
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Philip Hartley is a graduate-entry medical student and Junior Dean at The Queen’s College Oxford. He graduated from Lincoln College Oxford with a Masters Degree in Chemistry specialising in x-ray absorption and x-ray emission spectroscopy of transparent conducting oxides. Before entering medical school he worked as a teacher in London as part of the TeachFirst programme.
He has a special interest in the methods used for reporting clinical trials and how these translate into clinical practice.
Ioan Milosevic is a graduate-entry medical student at the University of Oxford, having previously studied Experimental and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University, and spent a number of years teaching Mathematics in secondary school. His Master’s project was to investigate the possibility of neutrino astronomy.
Eirion Slade is a graduate-entry medical student and tutor at St Catherine’s College, Oxford. He graduated with an MPhys degree in physics from Keble College, Oxford, during which he specialised in quantum optics and information theory. He also works as a private physics and maths tutor in Oxford.
He has a special interest in orthopaedic surgery and is dedicated to ensuring that medical and surgical evidence is produced and interpreted in a way that maximises the wellbeing of patients.
Dr. Kamal Mahtani
Kamal Mahtani (BSc PhD MBBS PGDip MRCGP) is an NHS GP, NIHR Clinical Lecturer, and Deputy Director at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. His main activities are divided between providing direct clinical care to patients, research, and teaching.
As a researcher his main focus is on evidence synthesis and the acquisition and generation of high quality evidence that can support and underpin clinical practice and policy. Pivotal to this is the transparent availability of all data, and for that reason he is a supporter of the AllTrials campaign.
Prof. Carl Heneghan
He is a clinical epidemiologist and so studies patients who see clinicians, especially those with common problems, and his work focuses on improving the evidence-base to change practice. His research interests include NCDs and he currently chairs WHO guidelines on self-care and CVD risk and co-directs a WHO collaboration centre. He is a PI on four multi-centre randomized trials and chairs two NIHR trial steering committees. His research includes treatment of communicable diseases in primary care, most notably the work on the Tamiflu systematic reviews.
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Carl’s work also includes investigating the evidence base for publication bias and drug and device regulation, and he is an international expert, advising governments, on the regulatory and evidence requirements for devices and drugs as well as evidence-based projects in the public interest. He is also a founder of the AllTrials campaign. As a clinical epidemiologist Prof Heneghan has extensive experience in systematic reviews and quantitative methodologies.
Conflicts of interest and payments: Carl has received expenses from the WHO and holds grant funding from the NIHR, the National School of Primary Care Research, the Wellcome Trust and the WHO. In addition, he is an expert witness in an ongoing medical device legal case, has received payment for analysing and appraising guidelines and receives income from the publication of a series of toolkit books published by Blackwells. On occasion he receives expenses for teaching EBM and is also paid for his GP work in the out of hours service in Oxford.
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Anna Powell-Smith is a computer programmer, specialising in data analysis and data visualisation. She works with commercial and non-profit clients. Her work has been featured in the Guardian, Economist, Private Eye and many other places.
She is currently working with the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine on various projects for the Bennett Institute for Applied Data Science. You can see more of her work at anna.ps and she is @darkgreener on Twitter.