Category Archives: General news

Back in action

Wow, that was a much longer hiatus than I intended. During March I took on a new job, moved to a new apartment, and started a new relationship. It had a predictable impact on my science output.
I am back, still working on footnotes to my book, still posting, still in the game. Thank you for

Progress on book launch

Despite many distractions and challenges, I have completed making planned cuts to the manuscript of The Decline Effect. (Those who might worry that I’m removing something essential should see my previous post: I’m just going to settle for three graphs on a given topic instead of four.)
Now I’m working on building the final index. It’s

The decline effect gets some press, good and bad

In today’s National Post, there is an interesting piece by Joseph Brean on the subject of spurious statistical correlations in science. It touches briefly on the decline effect, but not in a way that I find entirely encouraging.
Brean cites several papers, including one by Young and Karr on problems with irreproducible results, in the journal

Better news for Tallbloke (Climategate II)

The other day I reported that fellow blogger Tallbloke had had two computers and a router seized by the Norfolk police, as part of the investigation into the Climategate e-mail hack. He was not named as a suspect, just a tenuous link in an evidence chain. There was intense concern among skeptic bloggers over the

Climategate II hits home

A few weeks ago, my ‘Pot Lid’ paper got a favorable mention on Tallbloke’s climate blog. Today I find that acting on a request from the U.S. Department of Justice, a platoon of British policemen descended on Tallbloke’s house and seized several computers.
This isn’t about ‘Pot Lid’. There was another big dump of 5,000 or

More on the decline effect in drug research

There are a number of good articles on the ongoing problems with developing new drugs, but this one leaped out at me. In particular, check out the logarithmic decline in new drugs brought into use per billion $ of research and development funding:

There are some facts not shown in the graph that need to be

The scary truth about audit software blogging

This post is something of an experiment.
As I said in a previous post, I’m interested in knowing just how big the community of expert audit software users is, and where to find them. So I’ve been doing a variety of searches, including setting Google to search only on blogs — that is, on WordPress and

Experimental data uploaded, new page

I have added a page entitled ‘Bayes and decline‘ that will deal with the more technical details of the decline effect. In particular, it will explain why I regard the phenomenon as only explainable using a Bayesian approach.
I’ve also updated the Downloads page by adding an Excel spreadsheet with some probability experiments I ran several

Jonah Lehrer reports on trouble in science (again)

There is a new blog entry by Jonah Lehrer, “How Does Prozac Work?” (Nov 17, find it here) that touches on the decline effect in pharmaceuticals. It’s not good news. And in a strange way it is stressing me out personally.
First Lehrer discusses the failure of a promising new anti-depressant drug, designated GSK372475, from Glaxo.

Jonathan Schooler interviewed by CMN

The Conscious Media Network has released an interview with Jonathan Schooler (here) about his work on the decline effect.
Be warned, the CMN is pretty eclectic and ‘alternative’. They feature interviews about David Icke, conspiracies, UFO’s, and natural foods, among other things. The interviewer’s perspective on the decline effect, not surprisingly, was that it is a