- STS student makes Dean's List
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- Thinking About Science: Episode 4
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- Will The Geek Inherit the Earth?
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- Vacancy: Senior Lecturer in Science Communication
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- Vacancy: Research Associate Cold War History
- National praise for Agar
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The Department of Science and Technology Studies, UCL is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning for teaching and research, plus for our public engagement programme. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.
At UCL, the academic mission is paramount. Our ambition is to achieve the highest standards in our teaching and research.
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Staff books include:
Philosophy of Medicine: New Article
30 October 2012
The evidence that evidence-based medicine omits
Not one, but three STS staff have collaborated with colleagues from the University of Kent on a new a article which has just been published in the Journal Preventative Medicine. Dr Brendan Clarke, Dr Phyllis Ilari and Prof Donald Gilles worked with Dr Federica Russo and Prof Jon Williamson from the University of Kent on the article "The Evidence that Evidence Based Medicine Omits"
According to current hierarchies of evidence for EBM, evidence of correlation (e.g., from RCTs) is always more important than evidence of mechanisms when evaluating and establishing causal claims. We argue that evidence of mechanisms needs to be treated alongside evidence of correlation. This is for three reasons. First, correlation is always a fallible indicator of causation, subject in particular to the problem of confounding; evidence of mechanisms can in some cases be more important than evidence of correlation when assessing a causal claim. Second, evidence of mechanisms is often required in order to obtain evidence of correlation (for example, in order to set up and evaluate RCTs). Third, evidence of mechanisms is often required in order to generalise and apply causal claims.
While the EBM movement has been enormously successful in making explicit and critically examining one aspect of our evidential practice, i.e., evidence of correlation, we wish to extend this line of work to make explicit and critically examine a second aspect of our evidential practices: evidence of mechanisms.
Page last modified on 30 oct 12 11:32 by Jo E Pearson
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