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"I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to be involved in Cochrane. My involvement goes back to the late 1980s when Iain Chalmers explained to me that there was a right, and a wrong way to do a review. When he later asked me to bring a nursing perspective to the nascent Cochrane Collaboration I didn’t need asking twice. I think because I am a woman and a nurse I have often felt overwhelmed by the intellects of the people I have met in Cochrane. I know such feelings of inadequacy are shared by a lot of women in science and we need to find ways of overcoming them. Through Cochrane I have worked alongside many of my heroes, whose writings I learned from before I actually met them, including Cindy Mulrow, Ann Oakley, Lisa Bero and Kay Dickersin (yes I have some male heroes too but they already get lots of publicity!). Cochrane has succeeded in creating an environment in which thousands of people can learn and grow as scientists whilst contributing to the greater good. It is an organisation that has nurtured me and where I have always felt I belonged. I think that is the same for thousands of us and I hope that I have been able to play a small part in that. On the whole it has been my experience that women and men often behave differently in science – it is a cliché that has some truth at its heart and there is an abundance of evidence that women are less likely to be recognised in awards. What is great about this award is that it recognises the value of women being visible in science as role models for other women. Of course high quality science is essential but the way we all behave is equally important. Finally the best thing about the award is that it enables me to help a woman scientist from a low resource setting. I have worked with midwifery colleagues in my department to identify a midwife, based in Malawi, who will update an extremely important childbirth review. It is a marvellous opportunity and I feel enormously privileged that I have been put in the position of being able to facilitate Cochrane work in this way."
Dame Nicky Cullum, winner of the 2016 Anne Anderson Award
Anne Anderson was a contributor to the stream of thinking and effort that gave birth to evidence-based health care. A clinically qualified reproductive physiologist, Anne had an active interest in women’s health, co-editing the first edition of Women’s problems in general practice (1983) with Ann McPherson. Anne also contributed to Effectiveness and satisfaction in antenatal care (1982), edited by Murray Enkin and Iain Chalmers, and was discussing, with Marc Keirse and Iain Chalmers, the possibility of co-editing a companion volume on elective birth. However, her premature death from breast cancer in 1983 ended her involvement. Iain Chalmers, Murray Enkin, and Marc Keirse went on to publish Effective care in pregnancy and childbirth (ECPC) in 1989, dedicating the book in part to Anne. ECPC, through its systematic approach to assessing the research literature, is widely acknowledged to have led to development of a similar project for all of medicine and health - Cochrane. Anne Anderson was 46 years old when she died.
In the footsteps of Anne Anderson, many outstanding women continue to contribute and inspire other women to improve health knowledge for the good of their communities. Often these women are quiet achievers who might otherwise not be recognized. The goal of the Anne Anderson Award is to recognize and stimulate individuals contributing to the enhancement of women’s visibility and participation in the Cochrane leadership. The Award is given to a Cochrane member who has contributed meaningfully to the promotion of women as leaders and contributors to the organization. The establishment of the Award was approved in principle by the Cochrane Steering Group (CSG) in 2010, and was awarded for the first time in 2011. At its meeting in Split in March 2011, the CSG agreed to put 1000 GBP per year for three years from core funds towards the newly established Anne Anderson Award. Additional donations may be made via the 'Donate now!' button on the Cochrane website, earmarked 'The Cochrane Collaboration Anne Anderson Award'.
Past or current active women members of Cochrane are eligible for the Award. Recipients will be selected based on emotional and cognitive intelligence, serving as an inspiration to others, evidence of cumulative accomplishment, originality and independence of thought, personal qualities, team building, leadership, and mentorship. The nominee’s contribution to or enhancement of women’s visibility within Cochrane, participation in Cochrane and other leadership, and other accomplishments within the context of Cochrane will also be considered in the selection process.
Nominations may be made by anyone within Cochrane. A one-page letter of nomination should be submitted, summarizing the nominee’s involvement in Cochrane and how she meets the following criteria:
- Meaningful contribution to the promotion of women as leaders and contributors to Cochrane.
- Contribution to or enhancement of women's visibility within Cochrane.
- Participation in Cochrane and other leadership.
- Other accomplishments within the context of Cochrane.
The nomination letter should include specific examples of the nominee’s contribution to the enhancement of women’s visibility and participation in the Cochrane leadership. These contributions may include, but are not limited to, serving as a role model and inspiration to others, mentoring, training, encouraging, supporting and promoting women for their work in Cochrane. We suggest the following specific areas should be covered in the nomination:
- involvement in Cochrane;
- contribution to the promotion of women as leaders and contributors to Cochrane;
- enhancement of visibility of women within Cochrane, including team building and independent working;
- participation in leadership in Cochrane;
- accomplishments within the context of Cochrane.
Please send all nominations to Lydia Parsonson at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Anne Anderson Award’ in the subject heading.
The Award recipient will be announced at the Colloquium, and receives a plaque from Cochrane honouring her contributions, as well as a cash award of 3000 USD. The recipient designates the cash award to assist a woman from a low-resource setting with Cochrane activities; this recipient should provide a brief written report on how the funds have been used.
Co-Chair, Cochrane Steering Group
Cochrane Public Health
Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility
Cindy Farquhar's prize fund was gifted to Luisa Fajardo from Colombia.
Award not made in 2012
Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth
Caroline Crowther’s prize fund was gifted to Sarah Manyame from Zimbabwe.