Tag Archives: ben goldacre

What doctors don’t know about the drugs they prescribe

This is the last week of one of the courses I’m studying through Coursera – Critical Thinking in Global Challenges. The final exam asked students to apply their critical thinking skills to the problem of publication bias in medicine. One of the sources we were asked to evaluate was this TED talk by Dr Ben Goldacre.

I make no secret of my admiration for Ben Goldacre. I loved his Guardian columns, and I think his book Bad Science is a must-read for anybody who aims to make evidence-based decisions. His campaigning for the the findings of all clinical trials to be reported, AllTrials, is commendable, and this TED talk explains why it matters so much.

Bonus: here’s an article from the NY Times on publication bias from 1999.

December Reading

Earlier this month we went on holiday to Canon’s Ashby House, a wonderful historic property managed by the Landmark Trust.

CanonsAshby2

It was blissfully quiet, so I made a start on my holiday reading list. These are the books I read during December, and what I thought of them.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

I haven’t stopped thinking about this book since I finished reading it. Its core thesis – misdirected effort is waste – resonates strongly with me. I found several ideas especially exciting.

  • Minimum Viable Product: Understanding what customers want is crucial. A Minimum Viable Product is a prototype or rough version, which allows the team to “collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”
  • Continue reading December Reading