Women and sexism in science, science skills, and statistics: those were the themes for most of my most popular (or controversial) posts in 2015.
1. 7 Tips for Women at Science Conferences
January 2015 at Absolutely Maybe: Women get less average airtime at science conferences. My top 7 tips for women scientists - and a collection of posts from others about how to help turn the tide.
2. "Just" Joking? Sexist Talk in Science
June 2015 at Absolutely Maybe: It was the year of the Tim Hunt controversy - and I took a look at the evidence on whether or not mild sexism and jokes really do harm or not. (Spoiler: they do!)
3. A Tim Hunt Timeline: Cutting a Path Through a Tangled Forest
September 2015 here at my personal website:The dramatic rise and long slow fall of intense public interest in the Tim Hunt affair - this post tracked the very different waves in the US and the UK. See also #9!
4. Another 5 Things to Know About Meta-Analysis
5. Mind your "p"s, RRs, and NNTs: On Good Statistics Behavior
March 2015 at Absolutely Maybe: A look at some of the most misused and misunderstood statistical measures - including a deep dive into the evidence on the wildly over-hyped NNT. See also #6 - and my post at MedPage Today, The NNT: An Over-Hyped and Confusing Statistic.
6. ARR OR NNT: What's Your Number Needed to Confuse?
July 2015 at Statistically Funny: Words, numbers, and the confusion they cause. The third in a trilogy exploring the NNT (see #5).
7. 9 PubMed Ninja Skills
November 2015 at Absolutely Maybe: A few million people use PubMed every day. It's the biggest online database of citations to the biomedical literature. My top tips on getting the most out of it.
8. Good To Know: Which Websites Can Reduce Anxiety and Depression?
February 2015 at Absolutely Maybe: Online cognitive behavior therapy - a look at the evidence, and free websites that use it to help reduce anxiety and depression. (And I wrote an analysis of a trial late in the year that got a lot of publicity, too.)
9. The "Un-Calm After the Tim Hunt Storm
September 2015 here at my personal website: This just kept going - and for some, it still is. This was my analysis of mine. Like the Timeline at #3, it had several updates (and another update will surely follow!).
10. Weighing Up Anonymity and Openness in Publication Peer Review
May 2015 at Absolutely Maybe: This was another deep look at what good evidence there is - which is not enough! Anonymity, on balance, seems more likely to do harm than good.
A post at Statistically Funny on composite endpoints in clinical trials - and one on online harassment, of which I experienced a lot, thanks to my posts on the Tim Hunt storm: The Value of 3 Degrees of Separation on Twitter. What I learned there has helped me deal far better with online harassment. Here's hoping, though, that 2016 has less of it anyway!
And speaking of women in science, here are 2 amazing women scientists I made Wikipedia pages for in 2015. I had never heard of either of them, and I found them both extraordinarily fascinating and inspiring. The first turned 100 in 2015 and the other 90!
Margaret Morgan Lawrence, an African-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, who faced staggering prejudice herself, and studied resilience in children.
Eva Klein, a Hungarian-born biologist who got through World War II's anti-semitism to go on to a career in Sweden in which she discovered the natural killer cell.
Finally, one of my favorite cartoons from 2015. It's from a post at MedPage Today that probably would make the top 10 (I don't get data for my column), judging from the amount of engagement with it: The Trouble With Evidence-Based Medicine, the 'Brand'.
Thanks for all the reading and encouragement!