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Biostatistics journal club: Seven Myths of Randomisation in Clinical Trials – November 1

Friday, November 1, 2019
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Massachusetts General Hospital Biostatistics Center, 50 Staniford Street, Biostatistics Conference Room Suite 560F

Please join us for the upcoming Harvard Catalyst Biostatistics Journal Club. Doug Hayden (MGH) will lead the discussion entitled “Seven Myths of Randomisation in Clinical Trials.”

Douglas Hayden, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Biostatistician, Biostatistics Center, Massachusetts General Hospital

I will be presenting the paper “Seven Myths of Randomisation in Clinical Trials,” which is Senn’s response to various critiques of randomization, some of which appear in the philosophy of science literature. I assume that as practicing statisticians we take it for granted that randomized clinical trials are the “gold standard” of evidence-based medicine and therefore need no defense. It should therefore be an interesting exercise to see if it is relatively easy to defend randomization or if it turns out to be more difficult than we might imagine. The presentation will start with a little background then proceed to each of Senn’s seven myths and conclude with a brief summary. It will be structured around excerpts and discussion points to encourage lively debate. I hope that we will find it to be both philosophically interesting and applicable to good statistical practice.

To facilitate the upcoming discussion, please read the following paper:
Senn, Stephen. “Seven myths of randomisation in clinical trials.” Statistics in medicine 32 (2013): 1439–1450. You can find free access to the paper through a search in Google Scholar. Once the article is found, choose “All 8 versions” to see the free PDFs.

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