2014 year in review – statistics, science and why we should not sit down!


statsScienceSittingHere we highlight some 2014 messages from the Motor Impairment team.  These ones focus on SCIENCE and SCIENTISTS and were reported during the year.  They have some pointers and messages but they also reveal some pitfalls.

In the coming days we will post additional highlights from 2014 dealing with other aspects new physiology.

Statistics and our fascination with ‘p’ values

There were several reminders about the need to move to a new level with statistics.  Here is an example editorial from Nature.
Here is the detail for Geoff Cumming’s book on the ‘New Statistics’.
Here is a telling publication: Why do so many false positive results corrupt the literature.
Here is Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman’s proposal on why we need more ‘open’ attempts to replicate key results.

Science and ‘progress’

Progress of science and scientists: the message is that you should use social media according to recent research.   Are you surprised?  Here is a short blog with links to sources.

Help your patients and reduce errors in clinical medicine.  This trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine emphasizes the need for proper hand over of patients to the next team of health care professionals.  It provides a clear message which is proven ‘in the field’.

Tracking the personal reputation of scientists, their publications and their citations.  What is the effect of an author’s reputation on the future impact of their scientific publication?

Scientific stuff-ups and snake oil.  Common mistakes in research.  Here is a list of 10 very common errors.

Bias and more

Academic papers: how much bias is introduced by knowing the authors’ country and country?  Quite a lot. Check your personal selection bias.

Conflicts of interest damage beliefs in pharmaceutical treatments.  How can two meta-analyses on apparently the same question come with a different result.  Do Tamiflu and Relenza have any place in the clinical armamentarium?  You should be worried about the sleight of hand.

Women in academic medicine.  The message from this research in the UK is that we all need to do more.  Discrimination and unconscious bias continue.

Academic success. What predicts success on the ‘academic job market’?   Predictors are papers, impact factors, citations…and gender in the USA system (and likely elsewhere). Try the author’s model to see how you might fare as a potential Principal Investigator.

Why industry sponsorship of clinical trials represents a real bias. Two years on from this exposure of the link between sponsorship and favourable trial outcomes.

Sitting can be lethal!

How lethal is sitting for some hours each day?  More on the growing evidence for an independent association between sitting and cardiovascular risk. Here is the first major evidence that prolonged sitting predicts death from all causes.

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