My first post at PLOS Blogs this month: 5 Tips to Avoid P-Value Potholes - a riveting tale of drama and statistical intrigue! My second looked at the hype around ASAPBio: Breaking Down Pros and Cons of Preprints in Biomedicine.
The annual national Health Journalism conference in the US was held in a very cold and snowy Cleveland this month. On the 10th, me and Andrew M. Seaman from Reuters Health held a session on some study pitfalls and how to avoid them. I've put my slides online, together with a bunch of my blog posts and some other material in case you want to drill down on any particular issue. You can see it here at Statistically Funny.
And my first cartoon-based abstract! It's for my talk in the opening plenary for Evidence Live 2016 this June, with Ivan Oransky and John Ioannidis, and Fiona Godlee steering: Research Nirvana - The Listicle!
Speaking of understanding studies and data - which are better, natural frequencies or probabilities and percentages? A new study claims a strong answer, but I don't the contents of their paper support that conclusion. I argued why on PubMed Commons.
The month started with a profile of me by Molly Weintraub in STAT - along with a sketch portrait by Molly Ferguson.
"The idealized expert-generated, one-way, authoritative reign of science is over". That's from a terrific anthropological study. What does it mean for you personally, and why should you care? It's all on us now, guys! Bias, the Internet, science, and you - my second PLOS post for the month: The Skills We all Need to Move Past "Anti-Science" and "Us".
It started with a comment at Statistically Funny, and escalated rapidly! I dug into who developed the statistical methods that are named after Bonferroni, and realized Olive Jean Dunn is credited with developing them. So now, I've added her name to my cartoon, updated my original post as well - and created a Wikipedia page for her for good measure. My visible product for Women's History Month! With a giant thanks to the anonymous commenter - and to Daniël Lakens, who it turned out, was on the same quest at the same time - and who procured the photo of Olive Dunn on Wikipedia.
That moment when you can't believe someone reported on a study that bad - then someone you admire tweets it! And another, and another... Leading to my first post for the month over at PLOS Blogs: How to Spot Research Spin: the Case of the Not-So-Simple Abstract.
Emily Temple-Wood, a powerhouse behind getting more bios of women scientists in Wikipedia got some great publicity. She also spoke about the harassment she gets. So I decided to speak up about that too. Here's that and the inspiring stuff too.
And commenting again at PubMed Commons on a new study of searching for studies for systematic reviews. While on tumblr, re-visiting my take on the "Keep Calm" meme, with Another Day, Another Health Scare!
CRISPR, Priority, and Credit: Do We Need to Edit Science's DNA? Talking about the values at the heart of science, and why I think we need to examine this more if we want positive change.
And in a week where much has been said about the cons of scientific journals - and many calling for scientists to abandon them completely and wish for their destruction - Lenny Teytelman asked people to say what journals do that's worthwhile. I had a bunch to say! I commented here on Michael Eisen's blog post about preprints and the ASAPBio meeting, too.
With all those theories about what would be better beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt than the current scientific publication system, I made a public service announcement about motivated reasoning: no one is immune from mistaking a logical conclusion for one where the logic has been chosen to fit the conclusion! (With a little more on tumblr.)
Wikipedia Activism and Diversity in Science: a post in Absolutely Maybe at PLOS Blogs - and an edit-a-thon at the annual AAAS Meeting in Washington DC. People who faced daunting obstacles left so many inspiring stories. They shouldn’t be invisible. We still need them.
It's Black History Month, and I started a Wikipedia page for yet another inspiring, yet little-known, African-American woman scientist: neuroembryologist Mary Logan Reddick - who started college at 15, got a PhD from the female college of Harvard in 1944, became a full professor at the University of Atlanta, and had a fellowship to study for 2 years at Cambridge.
And a comment on PubMed Commons related to part of my day job: systematic review databases.
My Open Access roundup for 2015: A year that access negotiators edged closer to the brink.
Pylori Story concluded with The Microbe Revolt: about the rise, fall, and rise of Helicobacter Pylori. It's my first attempt at a full comic strip.
My 10 most-read posts in 2015: they were mostly about women and sexism in science, science skills, and statistics. Thanks for the reading and encouragement!
My first comic strip! It's called Pylori Story. #1 is Acid Attack! Tune in each day for more installments of stomach-churning terror!
A randomized trial of online cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) depression was widely reported as showing it doesn't work. I've written a post on websites for anxiety and depression at Absolutely Maybe, so I looked into it carefully to see whether that post needed revision. I concluded it didn't (but added an update note to the post). I commented on the reasons at PubMed Commons.
While researching for a major super-sekrit project for Absolutely Maybe, I came across a woman scientist on Wikipedia's timeline of immunology. Her name is Eva Klein, and she didn't have a Wikipedia page, but whoever put her on the timeline had slated her as needing one. (That's what the red links in Wikipedia mean.) Turns out her husband had a page, but not her. There was a photo of her and husband, where he was named and she wasn't.
Yet, she's considered one of the founders of cancer immunology - she led the discovery of natural killer cells in the 1970s, no less, after developing cell lines in the 1960s. Klein is now 90, and she's had an utterly fascinating life. And the blank spaces for her on Wikipedia have been solved: I've made her a Wikipedia page. (And if you get the urge to follow suit, there's another woman with a red link on the immunology timeline: Katherine McDermott, for adjuvants in 1942.) And here's that photo of the Kleins in 1979:
Eva Klein worked with mice. Ironically, in the morning I'd updated my cartoon and 2014 posts on why 2 out of 3 claims from animal research don't pan out for humans! You can reach them both from here on tumblr. Eva Klein's story is a great example, though, of just how important the 1 out of 3 that do pan out are!