Category: Miscellaneous Science

Some thoughts after reading “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup”

I just read the above-titled John Carreyrou book, and it’s as excellent as everyone says it is. I suppose it’s the mark of any compelling story that it will bring to mind other things you’ve been thinking about, and in this case I saw many connections between the story of Theranos—a company that raised billions […]

The post Some thoughts after reading “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Let’s be open about the evidence for the benefits of open science

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous writes: I would be curious to hear your thoughts on is motivated reasoning among open science advocates. In particular, I’ve noticed that papers arguing for open practices have seriously bad/nonexistent causal identification strategies. Examples: Kidwell et al. 2017, Badges to Acknowledge Open Practices: A Simple, Low-Cost, Effective Method […]

The post Let’s be open about the evidence for the benefits of open science appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Let’s be open about the evidence for the benefits of open science

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous writes: I would be curious to hear your thoughts on is motivated reasoning among open science advocates. In particular, I’ve noticed that papers arguing for open practices have seriously bad/nonexistent causal identification strategies. Examples: Kidwell et al. 2017, Badges to Acknowledge Open Practices: A Simple, Low-Cost, Effective Method […]

The post Let’s be open about the evidence for the benefits of open science appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Response to Rafa: Why I don’t think ROC [receiver operating characteristic] works as a model for science

Someone pointed me to this post from a few years ago where Rafael Irizarry argues that scientific “pessimists” such as myself are, at least in some fields, “missing a critical point: that in practice, there is an inverse relationship between increasing rates of true discoveries and decreasing rates of false discoveries and that true discoveries […]

The post Response to Rafa: Why I don’t think ROC [receiver operating characteristic] works as a model for science appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Response to Rafa: Why I don’t think ROC [receiver operating characteristic] works as a model for science

Someone pointed me to this post from a few years ago where Rafael Irizarry argues that scientific “pessimists” such as myself are, at least in some fields, “missing a critical point: that in practice, there is an inverse relationship between increasing rates of true discoveries and decreasing rates of false discoveries and that true discoveries […]

The post Response to Rafa: Why I don’t think ROC [receiver operating characteristic] works as a model for science appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

The replication crisis and the political process

Jackson Monroe writes: I thought you might be interested in an article [by Dan McLaughlin] in NRO that discusses the replication crisis as part of a broadside against all public health research and social science. It seemed as though the author might be twisting the nature of the replication crisis toward his partisan ends, but […]

The post The replication crisis and the political process appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

The replication crisis and the political process

Jackson Monroe writes: I thought you might be interested in an article [by Dan McLaughlin] in NRO that discusses the replication crisis as part of a broadside against all public health research and social science. It seemed as though the author might be twisting the nature of the replication crisis toward his partisan ends, but […]

The post The replication crisis and the political process appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Revisiting “Is the scientific paper a fraud?”

Javier Benitez points us to this article from 2014 by Susan Howitt and Anna Wilson, which has subtitle, “The way textbooks and scientific research articles are being used to teach undergraduate students could convey a misleading image of scientific research,” and begins: In 1963, Peter Medawar gave a talk, Is the scientific paper a fraud?, […]

The post Revisiting “Is the scientific paper a fraud?” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Revisiting “Is the scientific paper a fraud?”

Javier Benitez points us to this article from 2014 by Susan Howitt and Anna Wilson, which has subtitle, “The way textbooks and scientific research articles are being used to teach undergraduate students could convey a misleading image of scientific research,” and begins: In 1963, Peter Medawar gave a talk, Is the scientific paper a fraud?, […]

The post Revisiting “Is the scientific paper a fraud?” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

How to think about an accelerating string of research successes?

While reading this post by Seth Frey on famous scientists who couldn’t let go of bad ideas, I followed a link to this post by David Gorski from 2010 entitled, “Luc Montagnier: The Nobel disease strikes again.” The quick story is that Montagnier endorsed some dubious theories. Here’s Gorski: He only won the Nobel Prize […]

The post How to think about an accelerating string of research successes? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

How to think about an accelerating string of research successes?

While reading this post by Seth Frey on famous scientists who couldn’t let go of bad ideas, I followed a link to this post by David Gorski from 2010 entitled, “Luc Montagnier: The Nobel disease strikes again.” The quick story is that Montagnier endorsed some dubious theories. Here’s Gorski: He only won the Nobel Prize […]

The post How to think about an accelerating string of research successes? appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Advice on soft skills for academics

Julia Hirschberg sent this along to the natural language processing mailing list at Columbia: here are some slides from last spring’s CRA-W Grad Cohort and previous years that might be of interest. all sorts of topics such as interviewing, building confidence, finding a thesis topic, preparing your thesis proposal, publishing, entrepreneurialism, and a very interesting […]

The post Advice on soft skills for academics appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Advice on “soft skills” for academics

Julia Hirschberg sent this along to the natural language processing mailing list at Columbia: here are some slides from last spring’s CRA-W Grad Cohort and previous years that might be of interest. all sorts of topics such as interviewing, building confidence, finding a thesis topic, preparing your thesis proposal, publishing, entrepreneurialism, and a very interesting […]

The post Advice on “soft skills” for academics appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Journals and refereeing: toward a new equilibrium

As we’ve discussed before (see also here), one of the difficulties of moving from our current system of review of scientific journal articles, to a new model of post-publication review, is that any major change seems likely to break the current “gift economy” system in which thousands of scientists put in millions of hours providing […]

The post Journals and refereeing: toward a new equilibrium appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Journals and refereeing: toward a new equilibrium

As we’ve discussed before (see also here), one of the difficulties of moving from our current system of review of scientific journal articles, to a new model of post-publication review, is that any major change seems likely to break the current “gift economy” system in which thousands of scientists put in millions of hours providing […]

The post Journals and refereeing: toward a new equilibrium appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Recently in the sister blog

In the article, “Testing the role of convergence in language acquisition, with implications for creole genesis,” Marlyse Baptista et al. write: The main objective of this paper is to test experimentally the role of convergence in language acquisition (second language acquisition specifically), with implications for creole genesis. . . . Our experiment is unique on […]

The post Recently in the sister blog appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Recently in the sister blog

In the article, “Testing the role of convergence in language acquisition, with implications for creole genesis,” Marlyse Baptista et al. write: The main objective of this paper is to test experimentally the role of convergence in language acquisition (second language acquisition specifically), with implications for creole genesis. . . . Our experiment is unique on […]

The post Recently in the sister blog appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

“A Headline That Will Make Global-Warming Activists Apoplectic”

I saw this article in the newspaper today, “2017 Was One of the Hottest Years on Record. And That Was Without El Niño,” subtitled, “The world in 2017 saw some of the highest average surface temperatures ever recorded, surprising scientists who had expected sharper retreat from recent record years,” and accompanied by the above graph, […]

The post “A Headline That Will Make Global-Warming Activists Apoplectic” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

“A Headline That Will Make Global-Warming Activists Apoplectic”

I saw this article in the newspaper today, “2017 Was One of the Hottest Years on Record. And That Was Without El Niño,” subtitled, “The world in 2017 saw some of the highest average surface temperatures ever recorded, surprising scientists who had expected sharper retreat from recent record years,” and accompanied by the above graph, […]

The post “A Headline That Will Make Global-Warming Activists Apoplectic” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

“The idea of replication is central not just to scientific practice but also to formal statistics . . . Frequentist statistics relies on the reference set of repeated experiments, and Bayesian statistics relies on the prior distribution which represents the population of effects.”

Rolf Zwaan (who we last encountered here in “From zero to Ted talk in 18 simple steps”), Alexander Etz, Richard Lucas, and M. Brent Donnellan wrote an article, “Making replication mainstream,” which begins: Many philosophers of science and methodologists have argued that the ability to repeat studies and obtain similar results is an essential component […]

The post “The idea of replication is central not just to scientific practice but also to formal statistics . . . Frequentist statistics relies on the reference set of repeated experiments, and Bayesian statistics relies on the prior distribution which represents the population of effects.” appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.