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News for 2019: I'm pleased to announce that I'm now a regular contributor to BMJ Blogs. I'll be generally doing (shorter) versions of suitable posts from PLOS Blogs. First up:

Evidence and choice - what does one mean without the other?

 

Bad visual impairment and surgery that fixed it got me thinking a lot about evidence and choice, and how little one can mean without the other:

Post-Surgery Thoughts on Evidence and Choice

And I took exception to an opinion piece by a doctor about evidence and patient advocates:

"True Patients Must Be Students of Evidence-Based Medicine": An Impatient Rebuttal

My final post for the year is a return to an issue that once dominated my life, but I've kept away from for a very long time - home birth:

The Dangerous Allure of Breech Birth at Home - and a Problematic New Paper 

 

 

 

 

The HPV vaccine and Cochrane sagas are rolling on - and I wrote about the responsibilities of the journal that published the error-ridden critique of the Cochrane review on the HPV vaccine:

Free Speech and Journals' Responsibilities in Vaccine Debates

Unusually, the journal - BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine - proposed some corrections and invited feedback. My response: 

Correcting the Record On That Critique of the Cochrane HPV Vaccine Review

At the end of the month, I had the privilege of giving the opening keynote at the terrific National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) conference. Here are my slides, and here's my post on the conference:

"High Value, Low Wastage Research" Is More Than Just a Catchphrase Now

 

 

 

 

 

Last month was all about the controversy over the Cochrane HPV vaccine review. This review, it turned out to have an unexpected back story - causing turmoil at the Cochrane Collaboration.Two more posts at Absolutely Maybe:

Boilover: The Cochrane HPV Vaccine Fire isn't Really About Evidence - but it's Critical to Science

Scientific Advocacy and Biases of the Ideological and Industry Kinds

And I kept tracking developments here at this website.

 

  

 

First post for the month was at Absolutely Maybe, about a major development open access: Europe Expanded the "No Elsevier Deal" Zone & This Could Change Everything.

Then the month was all about trials and systematic reviews of trials.

First up, a new post after a long hiatus at Statistically Funny: Clinical Trials - More Blinding, Less Worry! It's a big topic - and there are so many different ways that bias could creep through the cracks here, that it's worth re-visiting the basics.

With that post, I now had enough background to tackle Clinical Trial Critique 101 at Absolutely Maybe. A recent trial on yoga and depression was a good example to work with there.

Then August was all about the HPV vaccine. A scathing critique of the Cochrane Collaboration's systematic review and meta-analysis got a lot of attention. It shocked me until I dug deeper and discovered how implausible - and sometimes just plain wrong - this critique was. More at Absolutely Maybe - The HPV Vaccine: A Critique of a Critique of a Meta-Analysis.

The conversation after that post made me realize that there were lots of misconceptions about when we would be able to know if the cervical cancer was dropping - and that I didn't really know how the results from the trials would pan out in real life. The result was growing excitement about what this vaccine might be achieving, and a second post - The HPV Vaccine Should be Preventing Cervical Cancer: How Can We Tell Whether It Actually Is?

As this is a continuing saga, I started a post to keep the threads of what happens next together:

The HPV Vaccine & Manufactured Controversy: Tracking the Critique of the Cochrane Review & the Evidence.