Resolving chemical controversies

Contracted by former associates of the Cochrane Collaboration to lead an open-ended, blue-sky project researching how principles of evidence-based medicine (EBM) can resolve controversies about the safety of chemicals in consumer goods.

We were initially responsible for evaluating the feasibility of the project, setting objectives and delivering a strategy for achieving them, before leading the implementation phase, where we engaged stakeholders from a range of sectors in both Europe and the US and advised the client on potential funding sources.

  • Researched literature on causes of controversy in EBM and chemicals policy, highlighting similarities and differences
  • Set up a strategic advisory committee composed of US funders, UK researchers, environmental NGOs and consultants
  • Secured input from a cross-section of 25 leading industry, NGO and political stakeholders to deliver a strategy report. These included the German Chemicals Industry Association, the European Environment Agency and Greenpeace.
  • Produced a wide range of briefings, presentations and project proposals to engage various stakeholders in the project
  • Secured technical support from the University of California San Francisco, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the British Library
  • Organised the first-ever meeting of Brussels public-interest groups to discuss issues around science and policy
  • Facilitated the formation of the first NGO working group whose purpose is elaborating strategies to improve use of science in policy, with stakeholders from transparency, biotech, chemicals and law groups.
  • Currently in discussions to co-author journal papers and establish a dedicated research post at a UK university
  • Additional concept development and marketing for a web2.0 database and shared workspace

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