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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

 

 

 

First up, I tackled the controversy around evidence on exercise and ME/CFS:

Consumer-Contested Evidence: Why the ME/CFS Exercise Dispute Matters So Much

And it was Black History Month. This year, I traced the stories of African-American STEM societies in 4 posts, chronologically from their founding:

Part 1: The First Wave (1895 to 1947)

Part 2: From Psychologists to Mathematicians

Part 3: From Sociologists to Engineers

Part 4: From Anthropologists to Academic Surgeons

You can see all my Absolutely Maybe posts for Black History Month here.

 

 

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?

And over at Absolutely Maybe, my annual open access roundup:

Open Access 2018: A Year of Funders and Universities Drawing a Line in the Sand

I updated my Twitter profile pic for the first time with one of my favorites.... Hmm... Too statistical?