DC's Improbable Science

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

DC's Improbable Science header image 4

Entries Tagged as 'RCT'

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

King’s Fund reports on alternative medicine: little consensus and less progress

September 2nd, 2009 · 19 Comments

Jump to follow-up
The King’s Fund recently published Assessing complementary practice Building consensus on appropriate research methods [or download pdf].

It is described as being the “Report of an independent advisory group”. I guess everyone knows by now that an “expert report” can be produced to back any view whatsoever simply by choosing the right “experts”, [...]

[Read more →]

Tags: Academia · acupuncture · Adrian Eddleston · antiscience · badscience · CAM · Chinese medicine · chiropractic · CHRE · Cyril Chantler · Department of Health · Fair trading · Foundation for Integrated Health · General Chiropractic Council · George Lewith · Harry Cayton · herbal medicine · homeopathy · HR bollocks · HRH · Human resources · King's Fund · National Institutes of Health · NIH · Prince Charles · Prince of Wales · Prince's Foundation · randomization · RCT · regulation · Richard Lilford · Stephen Holgate

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