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Saturday
Nov132010

RS22 - Steven Novella on Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science

Release date: November 21, 2010


Our Guest, Dr. Steven Novella discusses a recent article in The Atlantic in which researcher John Ioannidis shows that 40% of papers published in top medical journals are either wrong or make exaggerated claims (and those are the top journals!).  He also discusses the difference between Science and Evidence based medicine. Also, Zombies: are they epidemiologically possible?

Steven Novella is an academic clinical neurologist at the Yale University School of Medicine. He is the host of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast, author of the Neurologica blog, and co-editor of the Science Based Medicine blog.

Comment on the episode teaser.

Steven's pick: AMC's "The Walking Dead"

Reader Comments (7)

I couldn't care less about zombies. How about pointing listeners to guidelines.gov, cochrane.org, How Doctors Think by Dr. Groopman, and Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs by Dr. Meyers.

November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMax

In this episode, Steven (a man whom I already held in high esteem) made a very good case for the differences between EBM and SBM. That distinction needs to gain wider acceptance and understanding.

I have no critique on content, as I think in this regard the conversation with him was nearly as successful as could be, but the first third of the discussion had him rambling a bit much and repeating himself to the point of annoyance.

November 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRM

No one asked Max to care about zombies. Truth is, zombies are not my thing either but who cares? When you are on the show you can give your picks. It would be a bit ironic for Steve to refer people to cochrane. As respected as Cochrane is, it is the epitome of evidence-based-medicine, and many of their reviews show the limitations of EBM when the treatment being reviewed has very low plausibility.

November 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChrisB

I'm glad Steve came on to talk about EBM versus SMB. I'll admit that I have been skeptical of the distinction since I heard the term... why make a new term when the old one is just fine? If people are not doing EBM properly (ignoring plausibility) why not just address that problem? I can now see how creating a "new" term can have utility: it is a way of ephasizing the limitation of looking at evidence in a vacuum. Since EBM has been associated with a certain practice, it is helpful to use another term if we are attempting to change our approach somewhat. In practice, for most topics, EBM and SBM are usually indistiguishable.

November 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChrisB

In the podcast new regulations regarding research containing human trials was mentioned, but I haven't been able to find anything on that. Does anyone have links to this story?

December 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan Aldridge

It does not follow that because we do not subsidize smoking, we should not regulate unhealthy activities. Costs and savings are not the only variable. The fact that obesity creates costs is merely an additional reason to regulate it, not the only one. The main reason is its danger to an individual. You are dismissive of subsidizing smoking precisely because of this moral intuition. iotakn iotakn - mulberry alexa bags.

December 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergegmsy gegmsy

He also discusses the difference between Science and Evidence based medicine. Also, Zombies: are they epidemiologically possible?

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkaren millen

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