Category Archives: Decline Effect

The tendency for rare items in long series of randomly varying events or entities to become rarer. Also refers to my book The Decline Effect.

Two new research areas

As if I didn’t have enough to do (see my previous post), I have two new research topics that I have plans to release papers on this year. I am posting this very brief note for the benefit of my current readers, some of whom may be interested in these topics as well. The first […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Plans for publishing The Decline Effect

Publication of The Decline Effect has taken far longer than I originally hoped. In early 2010 I was on the verge of signing a contract with a major publisher, when the slowing economy forced them to withdraw their offer (and cancel most of the new book line it was to have been a part of). […]

Recent news (all good)

I’ve let April and May go by without putting up new posts, but I have a good reason. With help from various collaborators and advisors, I’ve made progress in the past few weeks both on finding a publisher, and on developing the first commercial applications of the decline effect. In the meantime there has been […]

Decline Effect is now on Twitter

Putting up the second part of the lottery analysis turned out to take longer than expected, but I do have some news. There is now a Twitter account to go with this blog! Follow me at