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Started off the month at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Lausanne, Switzerland, as part of a panel providing a crash course in systematic reviews and meta-analyses - with journalist Jop de Vrieze, Karla Soares-Weiser (editor-in-chief of the Cochrane Library), and Jos Kleijnen (from Kleijnen Systematic Reviews). My slides are online here - with a trail of introductory blog posts here. Jop de Vrieze wrote up the session here.

The Conference got me thinking a lot. And I ended up digging into steampunk for the cartoon for a post: Can Anything Really Stop the Science Spin Snowball?

 

 

 

 

 

 

My latest at BMJ Opinion: Should we trust meta-analyses with meta conflicts of interest?

A couple of years ago, psychologist Susan Fiske launched a broadside against science bloggers, with a whole lot of name-calling. Now there's a study of 41 blogs, including mine. My thoughts: "Destructo-Critics" and Mean Bloggers: The Study.

The methods section is fundamental to a research publication, but I think it's the poor cousin of science communication. At Absolutely Maybe: Why Don't We Do More Visualizations of Methods?

Ended the month with a look at self-reports in nutritional epidemiology: is only side of the heated debate right, are they both partly right, or isn't there enough evidence to know? My take: Does Our Poor Remembrance of Things Past Doom Much Nutrition Research?

 

 

 

Science can be a problem-solving exercise, but it also generates questions even faster than it answers them. This month, I discussed some new research that shows, yet again, that who is asking the questions can totally skew the knowledge base we end up with:

Science: A Method for Increasing the Number of Questions

 

 

We talk and worry a lot about financial conflicts of interest. But what about when systematic reviewers are authors of the studies of the review? I looked for evidence of whether it has an impact, and discussed it at Absolutely Maybe: Should We Trust Meta-Analyses With Meta-Conflicts of Interest?

Also this month, a 2-part look at milestones in research on peer review:  Off to a Patchy Start (1945-1989) and Trials at Last & Even More Questions (1990-2018).

 

 

 

This month, I contributed to the Cochrane Collaboration's review of its policy on conflicts of interest for systematic reviewers. My post on that has been slow coming, though, because I've been laid up recovering from surgery after an accident - a broken ankle, mending well. But the issues of trauma and conflicts of interest reminded me of a classic case involving both, and I wrote about it at Absolutely Maybe:

A Classic Case of Science "He Said", "She Said": How Psychologists Trying to Prevent PTSD Got Controversial