Iain Chalmers

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Iain Chalmers
Iain Chalmers.jpg
Native name Iain Geoffrey Chalmers
Born (1943-06-03) 3 June 1943 (age 73)[1]
Alma mater Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London (MBBS)[1]
Known for Cochrane Collaboration
Notable awards

Sir Iain Chalmers is a British health services researcher, one of the founders of the Cochrane Collaboration,[3] and coordinator of the James Lind Initiative, which includes the James Lind Library and James Lind Alliance.[2][4][5][6]

Education and Career[edit]

Chalmers qualified in medicine in the mid-1960s, and then practised as a clinician in the United Kingdom and two years (1969-1970) in the Gaza Strip.[7] In the mid-1970s, he became a full-time health services researcher with a particular interest in assessing the effects of care.

Between 1978 and 1992, he was the first director of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit in Oxford.[8] There, Chalmers led the development of the electronic Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials (ODPT)[9] and a collection of systematic reviews of randomized trials of care in pregnancy and children published in the two-volume Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth,[10] co-authoring its summary, Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth.[11]

The National Health Service Research and Development Programme supported extending the approach to other areas of health care.[9][11] In 1992, Chalmers was appointed director of the UK Cochrane Centre,[3] leading to the development of the international Cochrane Collaboration.[9][11]

Subsequently, he became founding editor of the James Lind Library, which documents the history and evolution of fair trials of treatments, and helped to establish the James Lind Alliance, a non-profit organization that "aims to identify the most important gaps in knowledge about the effects of treatments". The Library has established strategic agreements with international and non-profit organizations to disseminate its publications to a broad international and multilingual audience.[12] Chalmers inspired champions all over the world leading to the development of the Cochrane Collaboration and by 2011 this collaboration had nearly 30,000 volunteers contributing towards summarising research evidence to improve health. His contributions have been instrumental in advancing international policies on research for health -such as PAHO's Policy on Research for Health, and to promote a better understanding of the importance of building bridges between users and producers of research for health policy and health care delivery.

Chalmers continues to promote better research for better health care by increasing public appreciation of good research through Testing Treatments interactive and the James Lind Library, and by working with others to reduce waste in research.[13]



  1. ^ a b "CHALMERS, Sir Iain (Geoffrey)". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Hawkes, N. (2014). "Lifetime Achievement Award 2014: Sir Iain Chalmers". BMJ. 348: g2921. doi:10.1136/bmj.g2921. 
  3. ^ a b The Cochrane Collaboration Archived 30 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ James Lind Library Archived 7 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ James Lind Alliance Archived 10 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Iain Chalmers: Guilty, obsessional, and frustrated". BMJ. 347: f6152. 2013. doi:10.1136/bmj.f6152. 
  7. ^ Sanai, Leyla (12 November 2005). "Fifteen minutes with...". BMJ Careers. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Watts, G (23 December 2006). "Iain Chalmers: maverick master of medical evidence.". Lancet. 368 (9554): 2203. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(06)69879-6. PMID 17189019. 
  9. ^ a b c Starr, M; Chalmers, I; Clarke, M; Oxman, AD (Jul 2009). "The origins, evolution, and future of The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.". International journal of technology assessment in health care. 25 Suppl 1: 182–95. doi:10.1017/s026646230909062x. PMID 19534840. 
  10. ^ Chalmers, Iain; Murray Enkin; Marc J.N.C. Keirse (1989). Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c Fox, DM (Sep 2011). "Systematic reviews and health policy: the influence of a project on perinatal care since 1988.". The Milbank quarterly. 89 (3): 425–49. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0009.2011.00635.x. PMC 3214717Freely accessible. PMID 21933275. 
  12. ^ Agreements Archived 17 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "Who is behind this website?". http://www.testingtreatments.org/. Retrieved 25 August 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  14. ^ Smith, R.; Chalmers, I. (2001). "Britain's gift: A "Medline" of synthesised evidence". BMJ. 323 (7327): 1437–8. doi:10.1136/bmj.323.7327.1437. PMC 1121895Freely accessible. PMID 11751342. 
  15. ^ Schulz, K. F.; Chalmers, I; Hayes, R. J.; Altman, D. G. (1995). "Empirical Evidence of Bias". JAMA. 273 (5): 408–12. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520290060030. PMID 7823387. 
  16. ^ Chalmers, I. (2005). "Access controls on bmj.com: Restore true open access to bmj.com". BMJ. 330 (7496): 904–5. doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7496.904. 
  17. ^ Chalmers, I.; Haynes, B. (1994). "Systematic Reviews: Reporting, updating, and correcting systematic reviews of the effects of health care". BMJ. 309 (6958): 862–5. doi:10.1136/bmj.309.6958.862. PMC 2541052Freely accessible. PMID 7950620. 
  18. ^ Chalmers, I; Milne, I; Tröhler, U; Vandenbroucke, J; Morabia, A; Tait, G; Dukan, E; James Lind Library Editorial Team (2008). "The James Lind Library: Explaining and illustrating the evolution of fair tests of medical treatments" (PDF). The journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. 38 (3): 259–64. PMID 19227602. 
  19. ^ Senior, K (2009). "Unique, multilingual resource on testing health-care treatments". Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 87 (6): 412–3. doi:10.2471/BLT.09.030609. PMC 2686217Freely accessible. PMID 19565116.