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jeremy howick.jpg

NIHR Non-Clinical Fellow

My PhD, which I completed in 2008, was in analytic philosophy (the Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine). Since then I have been investigating ways to make philosophy practical at the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM), where I have trained as a clinical epidemiologist. My work focuses on three areas: EBM, placebos, and point of care tests.

EBM. My work in this area cumulated in a book ('The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine') and a tool for gauging Levels of Evidence. Both are used by researchers and guideline developers in the UK and internationally.

Placebo Research. My research on placebos focuses on methods to investigate ways to rationalize placebo use. He uses a multidisciplinary approach to find better ways to maximize benefits and minimize harms of placebos.

Point of Care Testing. My work on point of care tests (POCTs) are available is important because currently we do not know which tests general practitioners might find beneficial. I am conducting a rapid appraisal of needs for these tests that will be published in 2013.

Teaching. I enjoy teaching and lecturing and have won several teaching awards. I lead a module on the History and Philosophy of Evidence-Based Healthcare, and am the Dissertation Coordinator for the MSc. I also supervise a number of undergraduate, MSc, and doctoral. Eight of my students have published their work in peer-reviewed journals in 2013.

The future. I aim to redesign the Oxford CEBM Levels of Evidence so it is (a) evidence-based, (b) epistemologically justified, and (c) user-friendly. In addition, I am planning the 2nd edition of my book as well as a popular science book about placebos. Through my module (and other means) I will continue to make philosophy of science more relevant to actual science. On a practical level, I aim to be sought after by multiple institutions, and to be employed as a consultant 20 days per year.