A message from Cochrane’s Co-Chairs

Side by side images of Catherine Marshall, who has short red hair and blue glasses and is smiling, and Tracey Howe, who has short white hair and is smiling in the sun

2020 is going to be a year none of us will forget. COVID-19 has had such a significant impact on all our lives. Like us, probably your home and work lives have had major disruptions and changes over the last few months. We hope you, your families and colleagues are well and safe. 

Despite these significant disruptions, the Cochrane Community has achieved a huge amount - and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cochrane resources, including 19 reviews, 8 Special Collections, weekly citizen science challenges, is an amazing effort of collaborative talent. Everyone involved in supporting this massive effort has made a valuable contribution to improving the knowledge of COVID-19, and we would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to everyone. The 2020 Toronto Colloquium would have been the perfect time to appreciate all that has been achieved, and share the lessons identified by this new way of working. Unfortunately, we will have to wait longer to attend Colloquium 2022, Toronto

It seems such a long time since the last main meeting in Santiago in October 2019, and we are really missing and mourning the energizing conversations and catch-ups that happen when we are at Colloquia and face-to-face meetings. And even then, not everyone was able to get to Santiago to enjoy the splendour of the Andes mountains and the warm welcome of the organizing team. However, the Cochrane community is innovative and created an opportunity to share the material everyone had worked so hard to prepare via a virtual Cochrane Colloquium two months later.

Over the last few months, the Governing Board and the Senior Management Team have been reviewing whether it is going to be feasible for us to hold any face-to-face meetings in 2021. Given the new resurgence of COVID-19 in the UK, and the expectation that there will be restrictions across the UK for the next six months, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel the planned Governance meeting in Manchester 2021 and replace it with a virtual event.   

An image of a Zoom meeting screen with many faces of Governing Board and SMT members
A virtual meeting of the Governing Board and Senior Management Team

We are however, planning to design some innovative ways to connect and enjoy each other’s company. We are going to introduce a series of virtual co-chair’s coffee breaks where you can talk to us informally about your ideas for keeping the community connected and our strategy going forward. Details will be announced shortly.

Once again thank you to everyone in our fabulous Cochrane Community and we look forward to meeting some of you very soon, even if it is virtually!

With very best wishes, stay safe,

Catherine and Tracey
Co-Chairs, Cochrane Governing Board

October 30, 2020