21 September 2018 Vol 361, Issue 6408
Special Issue; Metaresearch
Evidence-based medicine group expels internal critic
By Martin Enserink
Science21 Sep 2018 : 1173-1174 Restricted Access
Cochrane is in turmoil after ousting co-founder Peter Gøtzsche, who accused it of becoming “industry-friendly.”
A crisis has erupted within Cochrane, an international network of scientists that promotes evidence-based medicine. On the eve of its annual meeting, held earlier this week in Edinburgh, Cochrane’s Governing Board voted to expel Peter Gøtzsche, director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen and a board member himself. Gøtzsche, one of Cochrane’s most widely known researchers, says he was the victim of a “show trial,” likely instigated by Cochrane funders who disliked his highly critical views about pharma. But details about the procedure against him are shrouded in secrecy, and for Cochrane’s members and supporters it was hard to tell this week whether the bitter conflict is about scientific rigor, the limits of academic freedom within a large multinational organization, or a personality clash.