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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Putting Lipstick on a Pig


"Any sufficiently crappy research is indistinguishable from fraud"... that's the gist of a recent post from Andrew Gelman taking off on Arthur C. Clarke's 3rd Law, in the realm once again, of research papers displaying poor statistical analysis (be it incompetency or deliberate deception): 

http://andrewgelman.com/2016/06/20/clarkes-law-of-research/

The post gets quite a bit of commentary in follow-up (mostly backing Gelman up): 

And in a funny bit of timing, I came to Gelman's post very shortly after seeing a political cartoon on the Web showing Paul Ryan putting lipstick on a pig drawn as Donald Trump. Just struck me as an odd juxtaposition... how often politicians put lipstick on pigs, and, so too, researchers.


ADDENDUM:  just this morning "Retraction Watch" tweets out this abstract from a John Ioannidis group indicating that the majority of randomly-controlled studies evaluating "efficacy and safety" are sponsored by industry, and, lo-and-behold, 95+% of published results favor the sponsor:

http://www.jclinepi.com/article/S0895-4356(15)00058-X/abstract



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