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

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Download Lectures on Biostatistics (1971).
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Download review of Lectures on Biostatistics (THES, 1973).

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This post arose from a recent meeting at the Royal Society. It was organised by Julie Maxton to discuss the application of statistical methods to legal problems. I found myself sitting next to an Appeal Court Judge who wanted more explanation of the ideas. ...

Jump to follow-up “Statistical regression to the mean predicts that patients selected for abnormalcy will, on the average, tend to improve. We argue that most improvements attributed to the placebo effect are actually instances of statistical re ...

Every day one sees politicians on TV assuring us that nuclear deterrence works because there no nuclear weapon has been exploded in anger since 1945. They clearly have no understanding of statistics. With a few plausible assumptions, we can easily calculat ...

Jump to follow-up Today, 25 September, is the first anniversary of the needless death of Stefan Grimm. This post is intended as a memorial. He should be remembered, in the hope that some good can come from his death. On 1 December 2014, I  ...

Jump to latest diary entries This is a story of everyday researchers and teachers, struggling to do their job in a world pervaded by management bollocks. This page is a continuation of the diary that started in June 2007, with the demise of UCL’s  ...

Jump to follow-up There can be no doubt that the situation for women has improved hugely since I started at UCL, 50 years ago. At that time women were not allowed in the senior common room. It’s improved even more since the 1930s (read about the atti ...

Jump to follow-up This post was written for the Spectator Health section, at short notice after the release of the spider letters. The following version is almost the same as appeared there, with a few updates. Some of the later sections are self-plagiaris ...

There is a widespread belief that science is going through a crisis of reproducibility.  A meeting was held to discuss the problem.  It was organised by Academy of Medical Sciences, the Wellcome Trust, MRC and BBSRC, and It was chaired by Dor ...

Jump to follow-up The last email of Stefan Grimm, and its follow-up post, has been read over 195,000 times now. After Grimm’s death, Imperial announced that it would investigate itself The report is now available. Performance Management: Review ...

Jump to follow-up The University of Warwick seems determined to wrest the title of worst employer from Imperial College London and Queen Mary College London. In little over a year, Warwick has had four lots of disastrous publicity, all self-inflicted. Fi ...

It makes a nice change to be able to compliment an official government report. Ever since the House of Lords report in 2000, the government has been vacillating about what should be done about herbalists. At the moment both western herbalists and trad ...

Jump to follow-up DOI: 10.15200/winn.142809.94999 The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the latest in a series of 6-yearly attempts to assess the quality of research in UK universities. It’s used to decide how to allocate about £1.6 billi ...

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