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The Thomas C Chalmers Award

Presentation at the Closing Plenary, Saturday 22 October (17:45 to 18:30)  

Thomas C Chalmers

Thomas C Chalmers, MD

Tom Chalmers (1917-1995) was an outspoken advocate of randomised trials, whether at the bedside, at professional meetings, in class or in situations pertaining to his own life. His creativity spanned his entire career, influencing clinicians and methodologists alike. He is perhaps best known for the notion ‘randomise the first patient’, his belief that it is more ethical to randomise patients than to treat them in the absence of good evidence. In his later years, in arguably his most important work, Tom and his colleagues showed that, had information from RCTs been systematically and cumulatively synthesised, important treatments such as thrombolytic therapy for myocardial infarction would have been recognised as useful much earlier.


Thomas C Chalmers Award

The Thomas Chalmers Award was established with individual donations to celebrate and recognise Tom's interests, and was awarded for the first time at the 2nd Cochrane Colloquium in Hamilton, Canada in 1994. The Award is given at each Cochrane Colloquium to the principal author of both the best oral and the best poster presentation addressing methodological issues related to systematic reviews given by an early career investigator. The presentations must demonstrate originality of thought, high quality science, relevance to the advancement of the science of systematic reviews, and clarity of presentation.

Presentations are judged by the Thomas C Chalmers Award Committee during the course of the Colloquium, and the two recipients receive a certificate and US$500 each. The Chair of the Award Committee for 2011 is Georgia Salanti.

Previous recipients

The many previous recipients of the Thomas C Chalmers Award are not listed here; they can be viewed at