Cochrane collaboration name and logo
The Cochrane collaboration is named after Archie Cochrane (pictured above) who died in 1988. He was very influential in developing evidence-based medicine, believing that the limited medical resources should be directed to those forms of health care which were of proven efficacy. In 1979 he suggested awards for the most and least scientifically based specialties – and awarded last place to obstetrics. Obstetricians took up the challenge and, led by Sir Iain Chalmers and colleagues, set up and developed the Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials in the 1980s, the forerunner of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
The logo shows a review of data from the first randomised trials of antenatal corticosteroids to prevent neonatal respiratory distress syndrome. In 1988 the lack of a systematic review meant that most obstetricians did not realise that the treatment was so effective. As a result, tens of thousands of premature babies died unnecessarily. The most recent version of this graph is shown on the right. (images courtesy of The Cochrane collaboration.)