Today’s blog is a short blog about a “Blog on Math Blogs.”
I especially like the blog of May 28 by Lamb, “On Pregnancy and Probability.” It features the post of Kate Owens, who has started writing about being a “pregnant mathematician” and the issue of making decisions about which medical tests to have versus the reliability and cost. One particular test for gestational diabetes has really shocking statistics. Only 27 percent of women who have the condition test positive for it, and 11 percent of those who don’t have it, do.
There is a related post (submitted by Paul Alper) in the latest Chance News 93 called “The gold (acre) standard, fool’s gold” that discusses the book “Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients” by Ben Goldacre. It is an account of the bad and manipulated statistics used in random drug trials. One particularly disturbing section is on a patented system developed by drug manufacturers that concerns placebos. The whole point of the invention is to defeat the effectiveness of placebos. You can read the whole account here.