Posts Tagged ‘ Miscellaneous Science ’

James Watson sez: Cancer cure is coming in minus 14 years!

February 16, 2015
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From a recent news article by Laura Helmuth, I learned this amusing fact about DNA-discoverer James Watson: “he told a New York Times reporter 16 years ago that a researcher was ‘going to cure cancer in two years.'” Here’s the link to the NYT story, dated 3 May 1998: Within a year, if all goes […] The post James Watson sez: Cancer cure is coming in minus 14 years! appeared…

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Discussion with Steven Pinker connecting cognitive psychology research to the difficulties of writing

February 9, 2015
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Following up on my discussion of Steven Pinker’s writing advice, Pinker and I had an email exchange that cleared up some issues and raised some new ones. In particular, Pinker made a connection between the difficulty of writing and some research findings in cognitive psychology. I think this connection is really cool—I’ve been thinking and […] The post Discussion with Steven Pinker connecting cognitive psychology research to the difficulties of…

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How a clever analysis of health survey data became transformed into bogus feel-good medical advice

February 7, 2015
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Jonathan Falk sends a message with the heading, “Garden of forking paths, p value abuse, questionable causality, you name it,” this link to an article in JAMA Internal Medicine, and the following remarks: Unfortunately, I can only see the first page of this article, but it seems to contain all the usual suspects. (a) Forking […] The post How a clever analysis of health survey data became transformed into bogus…

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“The Statistical Crisis in Science”: My talk this Thurs at the Harvard psychology department

January 26, 2015
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Noon Thursday, January 29, 2015, in William James Hall 765 room 1: The Statistical Crisis in Science Andrew Gelman, Dept of Statistics and Dept of Political Science, Columbia University Top journals in psychology routinely publish ridiculous, scientifically implausible claims, justified based on “p < 0.05.” And this in turn calls into question all sorts of […] The post “The Statistical Crisis in Science”: My talk this Thurs at the Harvard…

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When a study fails to replicate: let’s be fair and open-minded

January 16, 2015
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In a recent discussion of replication in science (particularly psychology experiments), the question came up of how to interpret things when a preregistered replication reaches a conclusion different from the original study. Typically the original, published result is large and statistically significant, and the estimate from the replication is small and not statistically significant. One […] The post When a study fails to replicate: let’s be fair and open-minded appeared…

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A completely reasonable-sounding statement with which I strongly disagree

January 10, 2015
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A completely reasonable-sounding statement with which I strongly disagree

In the context of a listserv discussion about replication in psychology experiments, someone wrote: The current best estimate of the effect size is somewhere in between the original study and the replication’s reported value. This conciliatory, split-the-difference statement sounds reasonable, and it might well represent good politics in the context of a war over replications—but […] The post A completely reasonable-sounding statement with which I strongly disagree appeared first on…

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Sokal: “science is not merely a bag of clever tricks . . . Rather, the natural sciences are nothing more or less than one particular application — albeit an unusually successful one — of a more general rationalist worldview”

December 20, 2014
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Alan Sokal writes: We know perfectly well that our politicians (or at least some of them) lie to us; we take it for granted; we are inured to it. And that may be precisely the problem. Perhaps we have become so inured to political lies — so hard-headedly cynical — that we have lost our […] The post Sokal: “science is not merely a bag of clever tricks . .…

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I’d like to see a preregistered replication on this one

December 17, 2014
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Under the heading, “Results too good to be true,” Lee Sechrest points me to this discussion by “Neuroskeptic” of a discussion by psychology researcher Greg Francis of a published (and publicized) claim by biologists Brian Dias and Kerry Ressler that “Parental olfactory experience [in mice] influences behavior and neural structure in subsequent generations.” That’s a […] The post I’d like to see a preregistered replication on this one appeared first…

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Soil Scientists Seeking Super Model

November 20, 2014
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Soil Scientists Seeking Super Model

I (Bob) spent last weekend at Biosphere 2, collaborating with soil carbon biogeochemists on a “super model.” Model combination and expansion The biogeochemists (three sciences in one!) have developed hundreds of competing models and the goal of the workshop was to kick off some projects on putting some of them together intos wholes that are […] The post Soil Scientists Seeking Super Model appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference,…

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Replication controversies

November 19, 2014
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Replication controversies

I don’t know what ATR is but I’m glad somebody is on the job of prohibiting replication catastrophe: Seriously, though, I’m on a list regarding a reproducibility project, and someone forwarded along this blog by psychology researcher Simone Schnall, whose attitudes we discussed several months ago in the context of some controversies about attempted replications […] The post Replication controversies appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

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