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29 April 2009
One hundred years after his birth the remarkable life and legacy of Professor Archie Cochrane (1909 – 1988), considered by many to be the father of evidence-based medicine, is being marked by Cardiff University.
A public exhibition, including rarely seen video footage and items from Cochrane’s personal archive, has opened at the Welsh Assembly Government’s Senedd Building and will run until 12.30pm on Friday 1 May 2009.
The exhibition was officially opened by Sir Iain Chalmers, who founded the first Cochrane Centre, and subsequently with others, the worldwide Cochrane Collaboration. Before declaring the exhibition open, he said: "I am delighted to open this centenary exhibition in honour of Archie Cochrane, my mentor and mentor to thousands worldwide. Wales should be pleased and proud to have provided a home and workplace to such an iconoclastic Scotsman."
Last night’s event also saw the launch of a new Cardiff University Centenary Edition of One Man’s Medicine, an autobiography of Archie Cochrane, co-authored with Professor Max Blythe. The first copy of the new edition was presented to the First Minister Rhodri Morgan by University Vice-Chancellor Dr David Grant and Professor Blythe.
First Minister Rhodri Morgan said: "Archie Cochrane is best known for the way he defined and crystallised randomised controlled trials. That is the fundamental principle behind evidence-based medicine. But Archie Cochrane's contribution is wider than that - it includes citizen-based medicine, engaging with the patients and equalities in medicine. Cardiff University's Centenary Edition of One Man's Medicine demonstrates that Archie had about ten ordinary lives rolled into one."
Introductory remarks at the event were given by Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills during which she described how fortunate she was to meet Archie Cochrane a long time ago as a community activist working in the Valleys: "I recognised that I had a lot to learn from someone like him. The influence of Archie Cochrane on education is profound and never more relevant than today. I would like to congratulate Cardiff University on taking the lead in enabling us to recognise the work of Archie Cochrane. I look forward to reading One Man's Medicine to learn how he developed his ideas and how his career progressed."
One Man’s Medicine records the remarkable twists and turns of Cochrane’s career, which took him from his birthplace in Scotland to a prisoner of war camp in Salonica to the Pneumoconiosis Research Unit at Llandough Hospital, all of which led to an unexpected, revolutionary influence on modern medicine.
It is priced at £14.99. More information about how to order copies can be found at www.cardiff.ac.uk/cochrane.
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