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What the...? [Oct. 3rd, 2005|04:55 pm]
Wheeeee, we've found a new science website to waste time on read. It has an interview with Ben Goldacre on it (yes, that's how we found the site in the first place).

He says his favourite scientist is Darwin and also mentions understanding clinical trials.

"[question]You told a recent Spiked survey that you wished people understood the British epidemiologist Austin Bradford Hill's 'criteria for causation'. (Editor's note: Hill pioneered the randomized clinical trial and co-discovered the connection between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.) Does this sort of thing get taught in school?

[answer]It doesn't get taught to kids and it should be. John Durant's work from the early 90s and other major quantitative analyses of the portrayal of science in the media have shown that science, in the media, in terms of the kinds of stories covered, is health. Things like the Bradford hill criteria – how to assess the validity and reliability and usefulness of evidence – are exactly what you'd need to be taught to parse the information on offer when you grow up, especially as it's given out so misleadingly and incompetently by the media."

We don't quote out of context*, so yes that was a bit long. We don't care. Never mind teaching evolution and scientific method in schools. We know of people with biology degrees that were never taught this stuff. Huh? We wonder if it is a good idea to create intelligently design scientists that know little about either of these things...

*er...except when we do.

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