"Even in the medical sciences, the analysis of heterogeneity of outcomes, or post-trial subgroup analysis, is not accorded ‘any special epistemic status’ by the United States Food and Drug Administration rules (Deaton 2010 p.440). In the social sciences, testing for and understanding heterogeneous outcomes is crucial to policymaking. An average treatment effect demonstrated by an RCT could result from a few strongly positive outcomes and many negative outcomes, rather than from many positive outcomes, a distinction that would be important for programme design. Most RCT-based studies in development do report heterogeneous outcomes.Indeed, researchers are often required to do so by funders who want studies to have policy recommendations. As such, RCTs as practised – estimating treatment effects for groups not subject to random assignment – face the same challenges as other empirical social science studies."
"Gleditsch (2003) finds that articles published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution that offer data in any form receive twice as many citations as comparable papers without available data (Gleditsch et al. 2003; Evanschitzky et al. 2007)."
"Anyone who decides to do so will have to figure out how to overcome the public’s skepticism about genetically modified food—a skepticism that persists despite a broad scientific consensus about its safety. In Mexico, where the lime shortage is most strongly felt, a judge last fall ordered a halt to new GMO corn permits."
"Ninety-five percent of the limes consumed in the U.S. come from Mexico, and Mexico’s lime harvest is being held hostage—sometimes literally—by weather, criminal entrepreneurship, and disease. Severe rains last fall knocked the blossoms off of most of Mexico’s lime trees, decimating the current yield. Armed gangs linked to drug cartels have seized on the shortage, and the resulting price spike, to start grabbing lime shipments and stealing fruit out of the fields. Growers have had to hire armed guards, and all this has only driven prices higher."
"Since a court injunction sealed Medicare’s physician-pay records in 1979, the American Medical Association has successfully shielded physicians from public scrutiny of how much they’re paid by the federal health program for everything from flu shots to brain surgeries. Release of the payment data, coming as soon as Wednesday, should give researchers, journalists, and resourceful consumers their first look at just how much doctors make from ordering all sorts of tests and procedures on their patients—whether the patients need them or not."
"…the bison were just running. Because they are bison, and they can run if they want to."
"But the truth is anyone who expected a good ending to the lately horrible show was fooling themselves. The real reason everyone is so mad is that the show was terrible for several seasons and people committed a significant part of their lives to it. The hope that it might be redeemed by a well-landed ending is laughable."
"Publicity campaigns that claim to be “against cancer” seem to get past much critical challenge, to our collective disadvantage. Public health messages should be based on evidence. Their effects need to be proved to affect behaviour in a way that is helpful and not harmful. When medicine mixes with public relations and media campaigns, citizens and patients risk being short changed because their interests are vastly different."
"Teaching women to examine their breasts regularly has been shown not to reduce deaths from breast cancer and actually increases the chances of a benign biopsy result.2 3 It is unfair to tell women that regular self examination will save their lives when it may simply incur anxiety and have the potential to harm. Sound bites, beyond the safety of scientific qualification, can denature evidence."