Carl Heneghan

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Carl Heneghan
Born (1968-01-23) January 23, 1968 (age 55)
Known forepidemiology
Scientific career
FieldsMedicine, epidemiology
InstitutionsUniversity of Oxford, Kellogg College
Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine

Carl James Heneghan (born January 1968) is a British general practitioner physician, a clinical epidemiologist and a Fellow of Kellogg College.[1][2] He is the director of the University of Oxford's Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine.[3] Heneghan is one of the founders of AllTrials, an international initiative which calls for all studies to be published, and their results reported.[4] In 2013 he has been voted on to the Health Service Journal's top 100 England's most influential clinical leaders.[5] He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Collateral Global, an organisation that examines the global impact of the COVID-19 restrictions.[6]

COVID-19 commentary[edit]

On 21 September 2020, Heneghan alongside Sunetra Gupta, Karol Sikora and 28 signatories wrote an open letter to the UK prime minister, chancellor and chief medical officers asking for a rethink of the government's COVID-19 strategy. They argued in favour of a targeted approach to lockdowns advising that only over-65s and the vulnerable should be shielded.[7][8]

During the pandemic, Heneghan has written for right wing magazine The Spectator. In it, he has commentated on various aspects of the UK's governments response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 19 November 2020, he wrote an article with Tom Jefferson, an epidemiologist, in which he criticised the science behind wearing face masks to reduce transmissions of COVID-19.[9] In the article he stated that; “Now we have properly rigorous scientific research that we can rely on, the evidence shows that wearing masks in the community does not significantly reduce the rates of infection.” His claim was met with criticism. Sonia Sodha of The Guardian argued that Heneghan had made scientific errors because he had misrepresented a Danish randomized controlled trial which studied infection transmission rates on people who wore face masks. This was because the Danish mask study was only focused on infection transmissions for those wearing masks, rather than on the overall community, so could not be used to make judgements on the effects of face masks on community wide transmission rates.[10] Kamran Abbasi, executive editor of the British Medical Journal (BMJ), also criticised Heneghan's claims about face masks because he believed his interpretation of the Danish study was inaccurate. However, Abbasi stressed that he believed it was wrong that Heneghan's opinion be marked as “false information" on Facebook because, as he wrote in the BMJ, "disagreement among experts, especially about interpretation of a study, is a common occurrence. It is the usual business of science."[11]

In March 2021, Heneghan published a paper denying the role of airborne transmission in spreading COVID-19.[12]


  • Evidence-Based Medicine Toolkit - EBMT-EBM Toolkit Series, Carl Heneghan, Douglas Badenoch. BMJ Publishing Group, 2006.[13]
  • Statistics Toolkit - EBMT-EBM Toolkit Series, Rafael Perera, Carl Heneghan, Douglas Badenoch. John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2011.[14]


  1. ^ "Professor Carl Heneghan | University of Oxford".
  2. ^ "Carl Heneghan — Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences".
  3. ^ "Editorial Board | BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine | BMJ Journals". BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  4. ^ AllTrials. "About AllTrials". AllTrials. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Dr Carl Heneghan makes Top 100 Clinical Leaders List — Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford". Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  6. ^ "About Collateral Global". Collateral Global. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  7. ^ Yorke, Harry (21 September 2020). "Reimposing national lockdown measures is 'increasingly unfeasible', leading scientists warn Boris Johnson". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  8. ^ Boseley, Sarah (22 September 2020). "Covid UK: scientists at loggerheads over approach to new restrictions". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  9. ^ Heneghan, Jefferson, Carl, Tom (19 November 2020). "Landmark Danish study finds no significant effect for facemask wearers". Archived from the original on 19 November 2020. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  10. ^ Sodha, Sonia (22 November 2020). "We need scientists to quiz Covid consensus, not act as agents of disinformation". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 November 2020. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  11. ^ Abbasi, Kamran (26 November 2020). "The curious case of the Danish mask study". BMJ. 371. doi:10.1136/bmj.m4586. ISSN 1756-1833.
  12. ^ Ahmed, Nafeez (21 April 2021). "Scientist Linked to Great Barrington Declaration Embroiled in World Health Organization Conflict of Interest". Byline Times. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  13. ^ Heneghan, Carl. (2006). Evidence-based medicine toolkit. Badenoch, Douglas. (2nd ed.). Malden, Mass.: BMJ Books/Blackwell Pub. ISBN 978-1-4051-7236-3. OCLC 86074035.
  14. ^ Perera, Rafael. (2008). Statistics toolkit. Heneghan, Carl., Badenoch, Douglas. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-6142-8. OCLC 156816320.

External links[edit]