Friday, 28 September 2012

Bad Science: Negative Data

If you read my post on Bad Pharma you will be aware of Ben Goldacre.  Goldacre looks like the result of an experimental high-energy collision in the Large Hadron Collider between Ron Weasly and Brian May, but make no mistake - he is a sharp cookie.  Here he gives a talk about the quality of drug trials and how they often fall short of the scientific standards you'd expect (a theme that underlies the thrust of his book 'Bad Pharma').
  • When a new drug gets tested, the results of the trials should be published for the rest of the medical world -- except much of the time, negative or inconclusive findings go unreported, leaving doctors and researchers in the dark. In this impassioned talk, Ben Goldacre explains why these unreported instances of negative data are especially misleading and dangerous.

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