The 22nd Cochrane Colloquium was held in Hyderabad, India, from 21st to 26th September. Professor Jan Clarkson, Professor Anne-Marie Glenny, Phil Riley and Anne Littlewood from the Editorial Team were in attendance.
The theme of the conference was Evidence-Informed Public Health: Opportunities and Challenges. Professor Clarkson was a keynote speaker at one of the plenary sessions, and talked about how the Cochrane Oral Health Group had dealt with the challenge of the Cochrane Editorial Unit Screening Programme, where every new review has to be screened for errors. She explained that so far the feedback has been useful and pragmatic, and that the process had helped to improve the quality of our reviews.
Other speakers included Tracey Brown from Sense About Science, who updated us on the All Trials campaign and how Cochrane might become the leading advocate for evidence-based health care. The Annual Cochrane Lecture was delivered this year by Gordon Guyatt from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Professor Guyatt gave us a McMaster perspective on evidence based medicine, and talked about the problem of guideline developers making strong recommendations based on poor quality evidence. We also heard about capacity building and conducting research that addresses local needs, with a focus on the experiences of the Effective Health Care Consortium. There were special sessions on Cochrane’s Strategy to 2020, and the EMBASE Project, which wants contributors to help identify all randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials in the EMBASE database.
The importance of technology in Cochrane’s future was highlighted by the Cochrane Tech Symposium. Plans are afoot to link data throughout Cochrane, to provide easier ways of identifying and connecting to evidence. All the videos from the day are available online via YouTube.
Cochrane’s new logo was unveiled by the Collaboration’s new Head of Communications, Julie Wood. Julie was a keynote speaker at the closing plenary, and highlighted plans for the rebranding of Cochrane.