Honored to be leading an independent advisory group for the full update of the Cochrane review on exercise therapy and ME/CFS. I'm so happy to see community concerns taken this seriously. More details, including a contact emails for the group, in the Cochrane announcement.

Also on the subject of the Cochrane Collaboration, I posted a timeline and thoughts in the aftermath of Peter Gøtzsche's expulsion from the organization: here.

The month is ending with the publication of the systematic review of the HPV vaccines by Jørgensen, Gøtzsche, and Jefferson. I was invited to write the commentary accompanying it, here at Systematic Reviews. I've blogged about it at Absolutely Maybe: The High Risk Methods of New Systematic Review of HPV Vaccines.

And for Black History Month, I focused on African-American chemists and a fabulous sociologist who studied them. On Wikipedia, I created an article on the sociologist, Willie Pearson Jr, uploading a photo that I took of him as well. And when I saw that the Wikipedia page for one of the towering African-American figures in chemistry, Samuel P. Massie, was just a paragraph, with no photo, I tackled that one too. Here's my post at Absolutely Maybe:

Black History Month: Chemists' Powerful Stories and the Sociologist Who Studied Them.

This photo below of the chemistry lab at Howard University around 1900 is one that was curated by another sociologist, the remarkable W.E.B. DuBois. But you can read about that in the post!






First up this month: my annual roundup of open access news. At Absolutely Maybe – Open Access 2019: A Year of Momentum on the Subscription Off-Ramp. A year of deals, deals, break-ups, and more deals, that ended with a bombshell!

The MetaBLIND study emerged with a result no-one expected. Where does it leave us? My summary and thoughts in The Renewed Debate About Blinding in Clinical Trials.

And I was delighted to join the editorial board for the Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB). It's not a research journal: it's an independent drug bulletin, communicating about evidence, predominantly to drug prescribers in the UK. The DTB is the brainchild of the marvellous Andrew Herxheimer (1925–2016). Andrew was a wonderful man, with a remarkable life and family. Here's a selfie I took with him in 2015, and here's a post I wrote about him and his father – What Lies Beneath a Scientist's Life: A Father and Son Story. It's an honor to contribute to the publication I still think of as "his".







Having submitted my doctoral thesis at last, I finally began getting around to all the things that need updating. The first cab off the rank is Open Badges Redux: A Few Years On, How's the Evidence Looking?

I ended the year with a wrap-up of a year in peer review research: 5 Things We Learned About Peer Review in 2019.

The “Oh, the Things We Could Know!” cartoon was a good way to open a new year for science: it pays homage to the glorious Dr. Seuss’ book –

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself

any direction you choose.



People had a lot to say about systematic reviews this month, and I had things to say about what they said. So it was all systematic reviews, with zombies and Goldilocks – but not in the same blog post!

First up: The Power of Zombie Statistics: Systematic Review Edition and then,

The Systematic Review is Dead! Long Live [insert preferred sweeping claim]!



New development in a continuing saga, It's a Start: The Amended Version of the Cochrane Review on Exercise and CFS. This latest installment is the outcome of consumer criticisms starting in 2015, and there's still a major overhaul/update to come. So it won't be over any time soon.

And more news, this time about search engines and systematic reviewing.




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