Ben Michael Goldacre | GMC# 4741451

  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Research Fellow, Epidemiology

Archived Declarations

July 5, 2014

Other sources of income or benefits from other organisations relevant to medical practice

Company Reason for receipt of fees Total amount received
Quanticate "Clinical Data Live" web conference Keynote lecture on how withheld clinical trial data harms patients. Full content online here: £2000 - £5000
PhUSE conference Keynote lecture on how withheld clinical trial data harms patients. Full content online here: £2000 - £5000
CEGEDIM Speaking on how withheld trial data, and biased dissemination of evidence, harms patients (not online, content/slides same as £100- £1000

Past Declarations

To my knowledge my only other industry related income from previous years (already described in my 2012 book Bad Pharma) is:

In 2011 after giving two unpaid talks to commercial medical writers on the harm done by biased dissemination of evidence, they asked me to do a third, and I accepted a fee. This is not online but the content and slides were an earlier version of this talk, with the content on the harm done by marketing and ghostwriting expanded: and my second TED talk

In 2003 the Guardian entered me for an Association of British Science Writers journalism prize which I won, the ABSW prize was sponsored by GSK that year.

Other Declarations

My research fellowship in epidemiology at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is funded by the Wellcome Trust. I’ve previously had fellowships funded by an NHS National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre programme, the Scott Trust, the British Academy, and the EU. My research interests include better uses of electronic health record data, especially in randomised controlled trials; and better uses of open data in healthcare. I am an NHS doctor, I don’t see private patients.

I receive income from writing books and newspaper articles for lay audiences on problems in science and medicine, specifically the misuse of evidence by the pharmaceutical industry, alternative therapists, politicians, journalists, and PR companies. I have received income from the Guardian, the Times, the Telegraph, the Mail, the Financial Times, the BBC, the New York Times, and other similar organisations.

For the past decade I have done a very large amount of public speaking on these topics. Some of these talks are paid, or ticketed in theatres and comedy clubs; the majority are unpaid, either to students or open to the public for free, as I can currently cross-subsidise my campaigning and speaking time with paid work. I have also received income for public speaking from NHS R&D and other NHS organisations including local NHS groups, and GP trainers’ events, and from organisations and companies outside of medicine including book festivals, music festivals, investment banks, business analytics firms, small private book clubs, and Chatham House. I hope I have remembered any sources of specifically pharma-industry-related speaking income in the boxes above - there are four in total, with links to the full presentations online so that anyone can see what I said - I’m happy to add any I’ve forgotten.

As others have also said on this website: it is likely that there are academic conferences in the UK where I have spoken unpaid on problems in science – for example Royal College conferences – where that conference will have received some kind of financial support from the pharmaceutical industry, for example for promotional stands. I would not turn down an opportunity to speak to an audience about withheld clinical trial results and similar issues on those grounds, I have not taken the time to investigate and document income for these kinds of events when I have given unpaid talks.

I have received various fees for radio and TV broadcasting, specifically for writing and presenting documentaries, and appearing on comedy and panel shows, mostly for the BBC.

I am involved in a number of other activities, which are listed at:

For example (although it is hard to produce a complete list):

In 2012 I co-authored a Cabinet Office White Paper on the opportunities for greater use of randomised controlled trials in government, education, policing and other areas of policy. In 2013 I conducted an Independent External Review for the Department for Education on improving the evidence base for what works in teaching. I have received income from speaking on randomised trials in policy, education, and policing, and given numerous unpaid talks on the same topic, to civil servants, teachers, police officers, and politicians. I have given various unpaid talks or chaired sessions on the benefits of open government data for various organisations including the Open Data Institute and Open Government Partnership. I believe passionately in the power of open data to improve healthcare, when data is used carefully; I also believe that patient confidentiality must be proportionately protected to preserve public trust and avoid inappropriate breaches.

My project RandomiseMe, a platform for the public to run their own randomised trials, has received funding from NESTA (a charity funded by a large initial endowment from the National Lottery) although I have received no payment for this work.

I am a co-founder of the campaign, calling for the full methods and results of all clinical trials to be made available, and am closely involved in the campaign, I receive no payment for this work. I have attended or spoken at various meetings nationally and internationally as part of this campaign: while some of these meetings were hosted by the pharmaceutical industry, I have not accepted a fee nor travel nor accommodation expenses from them; I have had travel costs like air fares reimbursed by state medicines regulators, eg the Dutch medicines agency, to speak unpaid.

I am the director of Better Data, my non-profit organisation making tools for better uses of data in academia and medicine ( Until the end of 2013 I was a director of AfricaCheck, a charity seeking to improve the quality reporting in African media (unpaid). I have previously been a founding director of Straight Statistics, a group campaigning for better use of statistics in government and the media, which has now merged with FullFact (unpaid). I am on the advisory council of the Open Rights Group (unpaid). Until 2013 I was on the NIHR Pharmaceuticals Panel, a committee advising on clinical trials funding by the NHS (unpaid).

My website, and various other web projects like and other work on health data, are hosted for free by the internet company Positive Internet.

Lastly, I helped to set up the website on which this DOI resides – ( for doctors to make Declarations Of Interest voluntarily; I have helped campaign for the GMC to set up a compulsory register where all doctors declare their financial interests related to healthcare, rather than the very small number of doctors appearing on this site (eg; and I have written on DOI in various places, including my last book Bad Pharma. My DOI on DOI is, briefly: I think it’s useful and reasonable to know about funding sources for medical research, consultancy, private healthcare provision, and speaking; but these sources of income don’t make me automatically regard other doctors as inherently biased; I don’t think doctors are the only people in healthcare who should make such declarations; I don’t think it’s reasonable or even practical to require or expect declarations of every imaginable personal or political value or tie; and in the absence of legislation, I think all doctors and other healthcare workers should be positively encouraged to attempt to make a universal DOI such as this, however dreary a prospect doing so might seem.