DC's Improbable Science

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

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Entries Tagged as 'randomisation'

Two more cases of hype in glamour journals: magnets, cocoa and memory

November 2nd, 2014 · 5 Comments

In the course of thinking about metrics, I keep coming across cases of over-promoted research. An early case was “Why honey isn’t a wonder cough cure: more academic spin“. More recently, I noticed these examples.
“Effect of Vitamin E and Memantine on Functional Decline in Alzheimer Disease".(Spoiler -very little), published in the Journal of the […]

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Tags: Academia · altmetrics · Alzheimer's · Bad journalism · badscience · false discovery rate · Journalism · public engagement · Public relations · Public understanding · publishing · randomisation · randomization · RCT · science · science communication

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

November 18th, 2013 · 20 Comments

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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 […]

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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

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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 […]

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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

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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 […]

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Tags: Academia · philosophy · randomisation · randomization · RCT

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

May 31st, 2011 · 61 Comments

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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 […]

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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

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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. […]

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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

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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 […]

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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

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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 […]

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