Weekly links | Week of the 29th April

Hi again! Last ‘week’ was just three days long because of LSHTM’s generous Easter break, and there wasn’t quite enough time to get through emails, let alone collect five links to share on the blog. This week, however, there’s a lot to have a look at:

  1. First, and most important, is the Centre for Evaluation termly newsletter — check it out here, and have a think about sharing your own work with our members in the next newsletter in a few months.
  2. Taking Twitter to the next level, @statsepi Tweeted a thread that uses simulations to show that when adjusting for covariates in randomised trials it’s not the baseline imbalance that’s important but the degree to which covariates predict the outcome at the end.
  3. Although perhaps a minority in the Centre for Evaluation, epidemiologists have a big influence on how we conduct research at the School. Which is why you might find a collection of think-pieces on the Future of Epidemiology in the American Journal of Epidemiology interesting. There’s one about teaching, which thinks about how we talk about causation in epi teaching, which has resonance with the evaluation field.
  4. Researchers Julian Kolev, Yuly Fuentes-Medel, and Fiona Murray have looked at gender disparities in appraisals of ‘innovative research grant proposals submitted to the Gates Foundation from 2008-2017’. They found that ‘despite blinded review, female applicants receive significantly lower scores, which cannot be explained by reviewer characteristics, proposal topics, or ex-ante measures of applicant quality’. They attribute this to differences in communication styles (and presumably preferences for particular styles on the side of the reviewers).
  5. Finally: would we be more productive in monasteries? While academia used to be associated with religious orders, now our daily lives are far from the quiet introspection and isolation that used to be practiced. Cal Newport wonders if the lengths taken to concentrate fully on spiritual insights were actually necessary to overcome our natural limitations, and that constant email and open-plan offices might be keeping us from work satisfaction.