About David


I worked as a print journalist for ten years, primarily on UK regional newspapers and healthcare titles. In 2000 I joined a dotcom start-up and then moved to the newly-established UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) a year later to develop its digital presence. Set up in the wake of the BSE crisis, the Agency is a non-Ministerial Government Department whose food safety policies are informed by the best and latest available science. In March 2008 I joined the British Medical Journal as editor of bmj.com. The BMJ is a weekly research-based general medical journal with a print issue circulation of 120 000 sent mainly to UK doctor members of the British Medical Association. bmj.com (and its sister podcast, blog and video channels) is acessed by more than a million users each month internationally.

In June 2009 role expanded to include responsibility for doc2doc.bmj.com., a clinical community site for doctors worldwide. I'm enjoying the challenge of helping to grow this community, whose members come from more than 100 countries. It's a huge learning curve but great fun. The site now has more than 20 000 registrants, mainly doctors and healthcare professionals, and offers closed clinical forums for qualified medcal professionals, and open forums for others.

In my spare time I enjoy reading, cooking, walking, travel and cycling in the Kent countrysie where my partner and I live part-time when we're not in London.



TED Conference

TEDActive 2010

An idea worth spreading

It's food, and I don't need 1000 words to say it. Why am I fixated? Maybe it's in my mind as Jamie Oliver is getting prize at TED this year. Maybe it's my years working for the UK food regulator. I just despair at the crap we put into our mouths these days. Why aren't huge chunks of the population who can access decent food doing so, learning to cook it well, doing wonderful things with the leftovers? My parents' generation managed it, ironically helped by poverty and wartime rationing. Just get us cooking (and sitting down together and eating it)!

I'm passionate about

Two things mainly - food and the environment. Seeing people drive huge gas guzzling cars irritates me!
Michael Pollan's food mantra - eat food, not too much. Mostly plants

Talk to me about

Any of the above things, but also about TED. It's my first time, and I worry that my busy work and home life means I haven't devoted enough time to plan my TED and get the most out of it.

People don't know I'm good at

The piano. Not good exactly. In fact I'm rusty as hell, but I believe I could be OK again. But I was a vey shy and self-conscious teenage performer and so only planed when I was alone.

My TED story

I was offered the chance to come by my boss a year ago. A senior colleague had attended regularly in the past, and she wanted to give more of us the opportunity to go. It was great to be given the chance. I only found out about TED two years ago, but my colleagues who attended the Long Beach event returned full of enthusiasm and ideas.