From: Frankie Wood-Black <fwblack**At_Symbol_Here**CABLEONE.NET>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] The Economist: Quantitative Research is Often Wrong
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2013 16:51:20 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CA+hVcMtSapToNzi81aEJUNf6MFVqEoukDhAThRWkXHZwGz9Oqg**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <785F30F4-7277-4045-9CD3-8013A52835DF**At_Symbol_Here**>

Thanks - this article is a cool one!
Fun Daily Science News can be found **At_Symbol_Here**Sophic_P on twitter.

On Mon, Oct 28, 2013 at 9:49 AM, Ralph B. Stuart <rstuart**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
Quantitative Research is Often Wrong

The Economist has a nice analysis of the high probability of wrong quantitative results being published in academic journals. In one example, cancer researchers tried to replicate 53 published studies but could only confirm the findings from 6. In another example, pharmaceutical researchers only got the same result a quarter of the time when repeating 67 so-called "seminal" studies.

The article has a helpful visualization of the statistical outcome of 1,000 research studies under fairly reasonable assumptions: 125 of the studies would be published, containing 80 correct results and 45 wrong results. The remaining 875 studies would have a much higher accuracy rate of 97%, but because they didn't find anything interesting they would not be published. Because of this publication bias, only 64% of published results would be true, in this example, despite following research protocols that produced good accuracy among all (published, as well as non-published) studies.

Ralph Stuart, CIH
Chemical Hygiene Officer

Frankie Wood-Black, Ph.D., REM, MBA
Principal - Sophic Pursuits
6855 Lake Road
Ponca City, OK 74604

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.