Tag: evidence

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Ask for Evidence infographic

If you’re not sure about something you’ve read or seen, follow these simple steps to #AskforEvidence? [...]

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"I've Got Nothing to Lose By Trying It": Weighing up claims about cures and treatments for medical conditions

Every month there are dozens of news reports about medical breakthroughs and wonder drugs. The internet is cluttered with adverts and chat-room conversations testifying to ‘amazing’ benefits.   These stories [...]

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Guide: "I don't know what to believe"

Every day we are bombarded with information about science from newspapers, radio and television programmes and the internet. Making sense of it all can be very difficult. What should be [...]

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What actually happens when you ask for evidence?

I’ve been Asking for Evidence for a couple of months now and it’s interesting how organisations respond to it.  I’ve had an array of responses: Polite but dismissive…..   First up [...]

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Tom asks for the evidence behind the 2019 election manifestos

Politicians like to claim a lot of things, from how they’ve reduced unemployment to how they plan on investing in renewable energy, but how prepared are they to provide the [...]

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How do we separate the real deal from the fake news in cancer treatment? Thinking about Macmillan’s new project

If someone asks you something and you don’t know the answer, what do you do? You Google it. The internet is one the most powerful tools at our disposal, and [...]

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How to Ask your Next MP for Evidence

This will be an unusual election, and there’s a danger that candidates and parties will see backing up claims with evidence as less of a concern. But we can all [...]

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Online Petitions: Looking for the evidence before you sign

If you haven’t yet signed an online petition yourself, no doubt you’ve seen a few doing the rounds on social media. Their popularity reflects an increasing appetite for engagement in [...]

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Evidence Matters

On 1st November 2016 one hundred people went to parliament. They listened to 15 stories from people across the country on why evidence matters to them, and heard responses from [...]

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Ask for Evidence in the EU

EU policy is made within the Brussels bubble, with Brussels-based think tanks and Brussels-based lobbyists. Even civil society organisations at EU level rarely speak to the people that they represent. [...]

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Are you looking at scientific research?

This page will help you work out if something is based on scientific research or not.  It could be useful if you’ve received a response having asked for evidence, or [...]

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Always ask: is it peer reviewed?

No matter how exciting or compelling a new piece of scientific or medical research is, you should always ask: Is it peer reviewed? And if not, why not? Journals have [...]

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What kind of study was carried out?

There are a few basic types of scientific study that, once you know what they are, give you a much clearer way to question headlines or claims based on research.  [...]

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Animal studies

Animal studies are a useful way of modelling what happens in the human body, so they are central to the development of new medicines and cures, and to understanding human [...]

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‘In vitro’ (e.g. test tube) studies

‘In vitro’ (meaning ‘in glass’) studies are where scientists investigate chemicals, microorganisms (e.g. bacteria) or tissue (e.g. skin cells in isolation) in test tubes or petri dishes in a lab. [...]

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Studies observing people (sometimes called population, observational or epidemiological studies)

Epidemiologists (a kind of scientist) study how often diseases occur in different groups of people, and why. Their studies on populations will often report an association between a substance or [...]

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Randomised controlled trials (RCTs)

These are the ‘gold standard’ of scientific studies because they are ‘controlled’. This means that steps have been taken to try to eliminate things that might have an influence beyond [...]

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Clinical trials

Drugs or treatments will pass through several stages of clinical trial before they are approved for widespread use. This is because the best way to find out whether a treatment [...]

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Systematic reviews

This video explains why systematic reviews are important and how they are done. (Video prepared by the Cochrane Consumers and Communication Group, La Trobe University and generously support by Cochrane [...]

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Common pitfalls with studies and things to look out for

Is the study relevant? Just because you’ve seen or been sent a reputable scientific paper, you shouldn’t assume the research actually supports the claim, even if someone has said it [...]

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Do the statistics back up the claim?

No matter what the scientific study, at some point scientists have to use statistics to interpret their results, and form their conclusions.  Unfortunately, scientists can be as bad at statistics [...]

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Anecdotes, testimonials and personal stories

Journalists often use anecdotes or personal stories to make their stories seem more relevant to people’s lives or emphasise why a piece of scientific research matters. They are usually presented [...]

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Surveys, samples and opinion polls

Surveys collect information from a specific group of people, or a random sample of a wider population. A well-conducted survey can provide useful insights into people’s opinions or behaviour, but [...]

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Who funded the study?

Vested interests can distort research in different ways, from directly setting up research questions that are biased towards a particular outcome, to selecting only certain results for publication, to the [...]

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Vision Express launch investigation after giving misleading advice

Following an eye test at Vision Express, I was informed that although my level of myopia had not changed, there was a very small degree of astigmatism in one eye [...]

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No evidence for Marks & Spencer’s 'MRSA resistant' pyjamas

When a friend told me that Marks & Spencer had started to sell ‘MRSA resistant’ pyjamas, I decided to look into the claims and find out whether there was any [...]

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Finitro Forte Plus joint and cartilage pills

Looking for evidence about Finitro Forte Plus? Peter asked the company for the evidence behind their claim - here's his story. Want resources to understand evidence? Visit here. Want to [...]

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