Professor Carl James Heneghan is a British general practitioner physician, a clinical epidemiologist and a Fellow of Kellogg College. He is the director of the University of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. In this interview with Brendon O’Neill he discusses the impact of Covid restrictions and the limitations of modelling. Why the modellers became central to the policy making, what the alternatives were and how focussed protection could have been used creatively. A key message is how free speech is vital for science.