DC's Improbable Science

Truth, falsehood and evidence: investigations of dubious and dishonest science

DC's Improbable Science header image 4

Entries Tagged as 'randomisation'

We know little about the effect of diet on health. That’s why so much is written about it

November 18th, 2013 · 20 Comments

Jump to follow-up
One of my scientific heroes is Bernard Katz. The closing words of his inaugural lecture, as professor of biophysics at UCL, hang on the wall of my office as a salutory reminder to refrain from talking about ‘how the brain works’. After speaking about his discoveries about synaptic transmission, he ended thus.

"My [...]

[Read more →]

Tags: badscience · Bernard Katz · nutribollocks · nutrition · nutritional therapy · randomisation · randomization · RCT · regulation

Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma. Buy it now. Then do something.

September 25th, 2012 · 16 Comments

Jump to follow-up

This is a very important book.
Buy it now (that link is to Waterstone’s Amazon don’t pay tax in the UK, so don’t use them).
When you’ve read it, do something about it. The book has lots of suggestions about what to do.

Stolen from badscience.net

 
Peter Medawar, the eminent biologist, in his classic book Advice to [...]

[Read more →]

Tags: Academia · badscience · Big Pharma · BMJ · CAM · Clinical trials · Continuing med education · corruption · Freedom of Information Act · randomisation · RCT · Universities

Why philosophy is largely ignored by science

October 28th, 2011 · 30 Comments

Jump to follow-up
I have in the past, taken an occasional interest in the philosophy of science. But in a lifetime doing science, I have hardly ever heard a scientist mention the subject. It is, on the whole, a subject that is of interest only to philosophers.

It’s true that some philosophers have had interesting things [...]

[Read more →]

Tags: Academia · philosophy · randomisation · randomization · RCT

Acupuncturists show that acupuncture doesn’t work, but conclude the opposite: journal fails

May 31st, 2011 · 60 Comments

Jump to follow-up
One wonders about the standards of peer review at the British Journal of General Practice. The June issue has a paper, "Acupuncture for ‘frequent attenders’ with medically unexplained symptoms: a randomised controlled trial (CACTUS study)". It has lots of numbers, but the result is very easy to see. Just look at their Figure.

There [...]

[Read more →]

Tags: acupuncture · CAM · randomisation · randomization · RCT · TCM · Traditional Chinese medicine · Uncategorized

Despite the spin, Lewith’s paper surely signals the end of homeopathy (again)

November 17th, 2010 · 20 Comments

Jump to follow-up
I’m bored stiff with that barmiest of all the widespread forms of alternative medicine, homeopathy. It is clearly heading back to where it was in 1960, a small lunatic fringe of medicine. Nevertheless it’s worth looking at a recent development.
A paper has appeared by that arch defender of all things alternative, George Lewith. [...]

[Read more →]

Tags: badscience · CAM · George Lewith · homeopathy · randomisation · randomization

University of Buckingham does the right thing. The Faculty of Integrated Medicine has been fired.

April 1st, 2010 · 50 Comments

Jump to follow-up
This post recounts a complicated story that started in January 2009, but has recently come to what looks like a happy ending.  The story involves over a year’s writing of letters and meetings, but for those not interested in the details, I’ll start with a synopsis.
Synopsis of the synopsis
In January 2009, a course [...]

[Read more →]

Tags: Academia · Andrew Miles · badscience · CAM · Carctol · causality · Conservatives for Patients' Rights · Foundation for Integrated Health · Freedom of Information Act · Karol Sikora · Mark Atkinson · Prince Charles · Prince of Wales · Prince's Foundation · randomisation · randomization · Rosy Daniel · Terence Kealey · Trading Standards · Universities · University of Buckingham · vice-chancellors

Diet and health. What can you believe: or does bacon kill you?

May 3rd, 2009 · 58 Comments

Jump to follow-up
This post is not about quackery, nor university politics.  It is about inference,  How do we know what we should eat?  The question interests everyone, but what do we actually know?  Not as much as you might think from the number of column-inches devoted to the topic.  The discussion below is a synopsis [...]

[Read more →]

Tags: CAM · cancer · causality · cohort · Michael Marmot · nutribollocks · nutrition · randomisation · randomization · RCT · WCRF