Dear Friends and Colleagues
You may be aware there is an election for four new members of the Cochrane Governing Board triggered by the expulsion of Peter Gotzsche from the organisation, and the resignation of four other board members in protest. I am one of a group of Cochrane members who have asked for a debate (and we ran a now closed petition) about four issues that we think are the most important policies to move Cochrane forward positively. 620 people supported the petition. This is the biggest Cochrane member/supporter engagement ever. Briefly, the four changes we would like to see are 1. Promoting a culture of open discussion and transparency 2. Refocussing on the heart of Cochrane as a collaboration 3. Increased involvement of Cochrane members in governance 4. Open access to all Cochrane content, which is produced by volunteers and funded directly or indirectly by public money. We asked the board to organize a forum for a debate on the issues, but they found it technically too difficult in the time available. We think that these issues, plus other issues which have been suggested by Cochrane members, should be part of a debate for the current elections for the Governing Board. So, we have set up a channel for discussion on an independent blog www.cochranemembers.org . Please feel free to contribute. All the election information is here https://elections.cochrane.org/. Voting starts today 23 November 2018.
The full election statements were not set up to reveal very clearly what the candidates think about these strategic and policy issues. However, one of our group has worked hard using their evidence synthesis skills to extract the information the candidates have given in answer to the question `what are the most important strategic issues for Cochrane in 2019’. This voter guide makes it possible to see at a glance what each candidate’s position is on the four issues that so many Cochrane members have said were important. I hope you find it helpful. The full candidate statements are here https://elections.cochrane.org/candidates-standing-board-election-november-2018.
Happy voting! And please forward this to friends and colleagues who are members of Cochrane and encourage them to vote too.