‘Evidence Week’ at the Houses of Parliament, London

Professor Paul Garner and Dr Rachael Milligan from the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group joined other Cochrane colleagues at an event that took place at the Houses of Parliament in London, UK.

‘Evidence Week’, the first of its kind, ran from 25 to 28 June 2018. This initiative, led by ‘Sense About Science’, brought together MPs, peers, parliamentary services, and people from all walks of life across the UK to talk about why evidence matters.

Paul and Rachael attended a session on 25 June and were given the opportunity to speak to other attendees and House of Commons staff about how our Cochrane Reviews have informed policy and influenced change through increasing the number of evidence-informed decisions, made by the World Health Organization (WHO) and national decision-makers. They highlighted how the evidence of impact has been substantial in four main areas: guideline development, challenging beliefs and practices, methods development, and capacity development.

Rachael and Paul learnt about the use of evidence in non-governmental healthcare organisations such as Men’s Shed, a men’s mental health charity, and the UK National Autistic society – where lack of evidence can be a barrier to new interventions. They also had the opportunity to learn from other participants about how evidence is used to inform practice in other scientific domains – from beekeeping to football.

A highlight was hearing from the president of the National Allotment Society about why evidence was important in his work – although it was his agriculturally inspired outfit that proved most memorable! Discussions are in place as to how Professor Garner can incorporate this technique into his next teaching session.

A long and tiring day, but in the end extremely rewarding to be given the opportunity to highlight the great work that Cochrane do.

Sense about Science is an independent organization that seeks to promote transparency and reduce misrepresentation of research findings. During the event Director, Tracey Brown, agreed to deliver a seminar in LSTM so watch out for an update Autumn 2018!


The CIDG editorial base is located at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine  in Liverpool, UK. The CIDG is led by Professor Paul Garner (Co-ordinating Editor) and Deirdre Walshe (Managing Editor). Over 600 authors from some 52 countries contribute to the preparation of the Cochrane Reviews. They are supported by an international team of Editors, each with topic or methodological expertise. 

The CIDG’s main areas of work are on determination of the effects of interventions on the prevention or treatment infectious diseases of relevance to the  United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and neglected tropical diseases. The aims of the CIDG are to impact on policy and research in tropical diseases through the production of high quality and relevant systematic reviews, and to lead developments in review quality improvement and effective dissemination of findings.