9 PubMed Ninja Skills: Search, slash & collect! The joys of searching PubMed's 25 million biomedical citations.
New Statistically Funny! More Than Average Confusion About What Mean Means Mean - a gentle intro to standardized mean differences.
Science and the Rise of the Co-Authors: from the typical wolf in the 17th century - to breaking the 5,000-author-paper in 2015. We still aren't getting this right (and then there's "the jackass factor"). First post for the month at Absolutely Maybe.
Plus The perils of data bingo! Lots of data + multiple testing = many statistical illusions. An old favorite refreshed and posted to Tumblr.
My picks for milestones in the history of science journalism over at PLOS Blogs: Curiosity to Scrutiny.
The annual international Cochrane meeting is in Vienna this year - and I had the (daunting!) privilege of being the middle speaker in a plenary session with John Ioannidis and Ben Goldacre. The session is on YouTube. I uploaded my slides into Slideshare here. And I expanded on one of the issues I touched on there in a post at Absolutely Maybe: Why Aren't We All Machine-Friendly Researchers? (Check that one out if for no other reason than the cartoon: I think it's one of my better ones.)
My latest post at MedPage Today is about the evidence and patient issues with individual performance data on surgeons and ProPublica's new Scorecard: What's the Score on Surgeon Scorecards?
And here's a quick "for and against" between me and orthopedic surgeon Charles Mick (spoiler alert - I'm against): Surgeon Scorecard: Two Views.
Over at Tumblr: The Trial Acronymania Menace!
And the Tim Hunt controversy erupted again, as the handling of complaints to some organizations ended. To catch up on that, check out the update at the bottom of my post, The "Un-Calm" After the Tim Hunt Storm. This was also accompanied by further rounds of allegations about me and my posts. (I haven't been monitoring this recently, so perhaps it never really abated much and it only seems like a flare-up to me because I saw it!) And more of them in the comments section of that post, too. By (a bit of) popular demand, I added an update of major media pieces since I left off in August (although casting a wider net).
If you're interested in inspecting the anatomy of some of this - the emergence of conspiracy theories and entrenched conflict in real time - I detailed this a bit in an update at the end of my original Tim Hunt Timeline. With an increasing drift of accounts of the events of that storm, and to save myself time answering so many questions, I dug out the details of all the eye witness accounts I assessed originally - and explained the methods I used and the rationale for them: that's here in this Supplementary File.
And back to normal: thinking about health research. I got to participate in the wonderful OHRI's 10th Annual Clinical Research Training Course in a very cold and brightly colored Ottawa. I uploaded the slides from my session on equity, applicability and efficiency in health research here.
Many trials end with a whimper. Some end with a bang. A few weeks ago that happened with SPRINT, a trial to lower blood pressure further than ever before. A trilogy of posts:
Latest cartoons added to Tumblr: Researchers - Don't Become a Statistic!, The Forest Plot Trilogy - A Gripping Thriller Concludes, and on the right side of the angels in Heaven's Department of Epidemiology.
And The "Un-Calm" After the Tim Hunt Storm...tracking the end of the major media cycle and its aftermath.
Over at Absolutely Maybe, I've written about what I learned about online aggression in The Value of 3 Degrees of Separation on Twitter. Plus thoughts about The Angelina Effect and the Mixed Blessing of Celebrities and Risk Awareness. And a comment on PubMed Commons about research directions on celebrities and cancer.
And first off this month on Tumblr, classic advice on post-hoc analyses: If at first you don't succeed... Followed by another spruced-up old favorite: this is what happens when data try to speak for themselves.
Ended the month with another listicle: 5 Key Things to Know About Data on Adverse Effects at PLOS Blogs.
New at Statistically Funny: Just how objective are numbers? Statistics - where words and numbers combine to form a fresh sort of hell! Making sense of some key effect measures: ARR OR NNT? What's your number needed to confuse?
The damaging Tim Hunt saga keeps rolling on, with outrage about the outrage too. I tackle the complex issues of outrage, feminism, social media, and social movements over at PLOS Blogs in The Outrage Factor - Then and Now. And I've published my own personal analysis of the reaction in case it's helpful to others - A Tim Hunt Timeline: Cutting a Path Through a Tangled Forest.
Earlier in the month, I took the opportunity of a tussle I had with The Times over what they called a "survey" to look at bias - and make full use of the excuse to encourage watching a great clip from the glorious Yes, Minister: check it out!
A social movement of a very different kind was also on my mind at MedPage Today - the evidence-based medicine movement ("EBM"). Fervent single issue re-branding of the whole of medicine has perils, and so do social movements. EBM hasn't managed to avoid them: The Trouble with Evidence-Based Medicine, the 'Brand'.
I was interviewed about research ethics and the chocolate hoax trial for radio in Science for the People's show on human research ethics.
And over at Tumblr, blasts from the past with updated cartoons. There's The Luck of the Draw - a reminder that sometimes it's lucky to be in the control group. More than one kind of self-control: a quick look at within-person trials. Plus an old favorite on screening: You have the right to remain anxious...