Key people

Dr Madsen Pirie

Dr Madsen Pirie is President of the Adam Smith Institute, and was one of three Scots graduates working in the US who founded the Institute in 1977. Before that, Madsen worked for the House of Representatives in Washington DC, and was Distinguished Visiting Professor Philosophy at Hillsdale College in Michigan.

At the Institute, Madsen was part of the influential team which pioneered privatization and the extension of market choices and incentives. His work in helping to develop the Citizen's Charter led to his appointment to the Prime Minister's Advisory Panel from 1991-95.

A graduate of the universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews and Cambridge, Madsen has authored several books including The Book of the Fallacy, Micropolitics, Privatization, How to Win Every Argument, 101 Great Philosophers, Blueprint for a Revolution, and Freedom 101. He also writes children's science fiction, and with his colleague Dr Eamonn Butler he has co- authored a series of books on IQ, including The Sherlock Holmes IQ Book.

The Institute itself remains at the forefront of a worldwide movement towards competitive free markets and free trade. Madsen's personal website is

Dr Eamonn Butler

Eamonn Butler is Director of the Adam Smith Institute, rated one of the world's leading policy think-tanks. He has degrees in economics, philosophy and psychology, gaining a PhD from the University of St Andrews in 1978.

During the 1970s he worked on pensions and welfare issues for the US House of Representatives, and taught philosophy in Hillsdale College, Michigan, before returning to the UK to help found the Adam Smith Institute.

Eamonn is author of books on the pioneering economists Milton Friedman, F A Hayek, Ludwig von Mises and Adam Smith, and co-author of Forty Centuries of Wage and Price Controls and books on intelligence testing.

He contributes to the leading UK print and broadcast media on current issues, and his recent popular publications The Best Book on the Market, The Rotten State of Britain and The Alternative Manifesto have attracted considerable attention.

He has also contributed articles to national magazines and newspapers on subjects ranging from health policy, economic management, taxation and public spending, transport, pensions, and welfare.

He tweets as @EamonnButler.

Sam Bowman

Sam Bowman is Research Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Britain's leading libertarian think tank, where he has worked since 2010. He is responsible for managing and editing the Institute's publications and research, as well as managing the Institute's team on a daily basis and helping with the ASI's overall policy strategy.

His current research agenda is the political economy of "Bleeding Heart Libertarianism", a school of thought that tries to use free market policies to improve the welfare of the poor. His key policy areas are immigration and planning, which he sees as the two major areas where states hurt the poor globally and in the UK respectively. He is also interested in market monetarism, the epistemic challenges facing social democracy, and the case for wealth redistribution within free markets. He likes food, beer and computer games.

He tweets as @s8mb.

Ben Southwood

Ben is Head of Macro Policy at the Adam Smith Institute, chiefly focusing on the costs and benefits of different macroeconomic regimes, particularly nominal income targeting, but also working on tax and benefits, the importance of political ignorance, and ways that free markets can help the poor. Before coming to the ASI he was economics reporter at City A.M, having earned a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Lincoln College, Oxford. In his spare time he enjoys eating, obsessively collecting music, and attempting to watch every film ever.

He tweets as @bswud.

Philip Salter

Philip Salter is Director of The Entrepreneurs Network. He started his career as Programmes Director at the Adam Smith Institute, running the Institute’s events, student activities and researching and representing the Institute on education policy in the media. After three years with the Adam Smith Institute he moved into journalism, becoming Business Features Editor of City A.M., after which he was Editor across EMEA for one of world’s largest insurance brokers. While at City A.M. Philip wrote a weekly column on entrepreneurship and interviewed some of Britain’s leading entrepreneurs. He continues to write a weekly cocktail column for the paper.

He tweets as @Philip_Salter and @TenThinkTank.

Charlotte Bowyer

Charlotte is a Research Associate at the Adam Smith Institute, having perviously worked here on her Gap Year. Her key interest is Digital Policy, particularly freedom of expression and innovation online. She holds a degree in Politics, Economics and Economics from the University of Manchester, and is an Executive Board member of Liberty league, a network which seeks to promote and advance libertarian ideas amongst students and young professionals.

In her spare time Charlotte likes to collect taxidermy and is about to turn her hand to it. She also enjoys going to loud electronic music nights and creating extravagant, oversized meals. 

She tweets as @EileenSpalding.