Hilda Bastian was a health consumer advocate in Australia in the ’80s and ’90s. Controversies riddled with ideology and vested interests drove her to science. Epidemiology and effectiveness research have kept her hooked ever since.
Hilda has a habit of being a “founding member” of things. They include the Consumers’ Health Forum of Australia,’s first board and some of its parts, and the Cochrane Collaboration and its Consumers and Communication Review Group. In 2004 she joined the group of people who helped build the national Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); that required moving to Germany and learning the language.
A second intercontinental migration ensued in 2011. This time to Washington DC contracted to the National Institutes of Health,* where she works at making clinical effectiveness research accessible as lead for the PubMed Health team. She supported post-publication scientific discourse as lead for PubMed Commons. After a regime change there, she returned to Australia to work on a PhD, on some factors affecting the validity of systematic reviews.
The artwork on Absolutely Maybe is usually her own. Hilda also enjoys exploring the limitless comedic potential of clinical epidemiology at her cartoon blog, Statistically Funny. She credits her love of comics to Brenda Starr, Wonder Woman and The Archies.
I like reading people’s comments, and I like to chat – so I would be happy to hear from you. (I moderate blog comments, though, and I will not release comments that would turn the commenting space into an unpleasant corner of the internet.)