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Graduate Lecture (Ethics & Stats Talk) – Thursday 30th May

30 May 19

Speaker:   James Carpenter (Department of Medical Statistics, LSHTM)

Date:          Thursday 30th May, 3.30 pm in the Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Statistics

Title:          Strengthening Analytical Thinking for Observational Studies: the STRATOS initiative – why is it needed, what does it do & who can be involved?

Abstract:  While statistical methodology for both the design and analysis of observational studies has seen major advances over the last 20 years, many of these methodological developments are ignored in applications.

Specifically, the lack of guidance on vital practical issues discourages many applied researchers from using more sophisticated and possibly more appropriate methods when analyzing observational studies. Furthermore, many analyses are conducted by researchers with a relatively weak statistical background and limited experience in using statistical methodology and software. Consequently, even ‘standard’ analyses reported in the medical literature are often flawed, casting doubt on their results and conclusions. An efficient way to help researchers to keep up with recent methodological developments is to develop guidance documents that are spread to the research community at large.

These observations led to the initiation of the strengthening analytical thinking for observational studies (STRATOS) initiative, a large collaboration of experts in many different areas of biostatistical research. The objective of STRATOS is to provide accessible and accurate guidance in the design and analysis of observational studies. The guidance is intended for applied statisticians and other data analysts with varying levels of statistical education, experience and interests.

In this talk I will outline the background to the initiative, reflect on challenges and achievements to date, and outline how to become involved.