Your Thoughts Matter


How journalists can spot bias in randomized clinical trials


Randomized, controlled clinical trials are studies in which a new intervention, such as a medical device, is randomly assigned to some participants and tested against a control group, which receives a standard treatment or a placebo to determine its effects. They often are considered the gold standard of medical studies because they can provide evidence of causation.

Research-based tips for reporting on science research


When journalists cover academic research, they often face the challenge of explaining complex scientific findings in a way the public trusts and understands.

Fittingly enough, there are researchers dedicated to the study of just that, producing knowledge that may help journalists better communicate other research findings.

Can medical marijuana really play a role in easing the opioid epidemic?


A recent study challenges the role that legalizing medical marijuana might play in easing the opioid epidemic.

The paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in June 2019, indicates that a previously reported relationship between medical marijuana laws and declining opioid overdose deaths has not held up over time.

Statistics for journalists: Understanding what effect size means


If you’re a journalist, you might feel more comfortable with words than numbers. If you’re reading this, you might also be interested in research, which, more often than not, involves math — usually statistics. One of the more important statistical concepts used in interpreting research is effect size,  a measure of the strength of an association between two variables — say, an intervention to encourage exercise and the study outcome of blood pressure reduction.