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Goodbye, and thank you!

Posted 18 February 2013 by Suzi Gage

It’s with a combination of excitement, trepidation and sadness that I sit down to write this, my final post for scilogs. If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen that recently I’ve been writing a few guest blogs for the Guardian, and last week, I published my first post on my new blog over there. While I’m delighted to be joining such a prestigious network, and joining a cohort made up of some of my blogging heroes (Martin... Read more

Cooking up a twitter storm. Or: What not to do about the gender divide in science

Posted 6 February 2013 by Suzi Gage

  Today, an article appeared on the Guardian website, not in the science section (it was on the US news blog), but tweeted by @guardianscience and containing the word ‘science’ in the title. About girls and science, its headline claimed to explain ‘why the gender gap exists and what to do about it’. I’ve written about women in science before, as there is a large and worrying body of research which suggests that women are less likely to pursue science... Read more

Multiple Imputation – what’s the ‘arm?

Posted 24 January 2013 by Suzi Gage

A new paper looking at cannabis and psychosis appeared in Addiction over Christmas, and it piqued my interest, as it is very similar to a study I hope to conduct as part of my PhD. It shows a bi-directional relationship; cannabis use is associated with later psychosis, and psychosis is associated with later cannabis use. It’s a really interesting paper (though, see this about why a bi-directional relationship might not be the case*), but there’s an aspect of its design that I find quite unusual, and... Read more

Trust me, I’m a doctor… Guest post from Marcus Munafo

Posted 9 January 2013 by Suzi Gage

Happy new year everyone! Sorry for the silence recently, December ran away with me a bit. A post about Multiple Imputation is impending, but for now, my boss Marcus Munafò has written this. Enjoy. A lot has been made recently of the ongoing reproducibility crisis in science, and the extent to which current incentive structures motivate scientists to engage in questionable practices. These have been discussed elsewhere in detail, but involve various things like running multiple statistical tests and then... Read more

Have scientists discovered a gene for binge-drinking? No, but the research is still important

Posted 5 December 2012 by Suzi Gage

Yesterday a load of headlines about genes being linked to binge-drinking appeared on various news sites. Only the BBC (so far) seem to have fallen in to the ‘gene for x’ trap, the first paragraph of their article being particularly poor: Scientists believe some people have a gene that hard-wires them for binge drinking by boosting levels of a happy brain chemical triggered by alcohol. Not quite, but what did the study* actually look at? Stacey and colleagues are interested... Read more

Tobacco and Cannabis: Talk from ResearchFest (video)

Posted 29 November 2012 by Suzi Gage

Back in September I was involved in organising a conference to celebrate Children of the 90s 21st birthday. It was a unique day, as the delegates of the conference were not academics, but the participants in the cohort; the people who give up their time (and bodily fluids) for our work. I wrote about the day here, but the video of the talk I gave, alongside Marcus Munafò, is now up online, so I thought I'd share it here. Our... Read more

Why PhD Students Should Blog: My talk at UK Science Blog Prize Evening (also, I won)

Posted 28 November 2012 by Suzi Gage

As I wrote recently, this blog was shortlisted, along with nine others, for the first UK Science Blog Prize. The award was the brainchild of Simon Singh and Ben Goldacre, and the judging panel were some of the finest minds and science writers around. It is no exaggeration to say that I have been directly inspired to start blogging by two of the judges. In 2010 when I applied for the BSA's Media Fellowship, I namechecked my two science writing... Read more

Sifting the Evidence: or how the blog got its name.

Posted 22 November 2012 by Suzi Gage

I like statistics. Sometimes they elude me, but that feeling when a concept or technique reveals itself, for me is one of the joys of my studies. Which is a good job, as observational epidemiology isn't light on analyses. The geeky joy of stats was instilled in me by my boss Marcus, forcing his lab group to read papers about statistical techniques, giving us lectures about power calculations and suchlike. Back when I was a newbie, he brought to us... Read more

Predictors of addiction: Why being able to hold your booze might not be a good thing

Posted 18 November 2012 by Suzi Gage

This weekend I’ve been thinking about addiction. Admittedly, I think a lot about addiction! I am in the process of making a series of podcasts about recreational drugs, and while at a neuropsychopharmacology conference last month, I interviewed Anne Lingford-Hughes about research in to alcohol. Some of her comments really got me thinking about the nature of addiction, and why some of us can have a few drinks while others find the need for alcohol can consume them. Alcohol has... Read more

Spot On – A Conference for the Modern Age (guest post for MRC)

Posted 16 November 2012 by Suzi Gage

First, a small piece of news. This blog has been shortlisted for the 2012 UK Science Blog Prize, a new scheme set up by the Good Thinking Society to recognise science writing in blog form. I am STOKED, I don't think I've stopped grinning since I found out. There is a Prize Night happening next Sunday, where I'll be speaking* alongside some of my blogging heroes: Dorothy Bishop, Athene Donald (edit: just heard Athene can't make it, which is a shame),... Read more