IPA’s weekly links

Guest Post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.

HeartCurve

  • We’ve collected some of our favorite #DevelopmentValentines from last week.
  • Africa is a Country has a new economics column.
  • The New Yorker has the great story of the science behind the announcement last week of detection of faint gravitational waves. It involved decades of collaboration, $472 Million, spheres held in place by glass strands so thin that if touched they would disintegrate, and moles on the research team who hid false positives in the data. They ended up with a system so sensitive it had to counterbalance interference from a wolf walking nearby or a lightning strike in Africa.
  • Get Uganda election updates from reporters Simone Schlindwein and Malcolm Webb.
  • A sociology Ph.D. student published an ethnography (open access) after working in three infant cognition labs about the process by which researchers make an inherently messy topic (unpredictable infant behavior) seem clean, scientific and publishable. In the process he documents processes like selective inclusion/exclusion of data, peeking at data as it comes in and redirecting the study if it looks like it won’t turn out as expected, and HARKing (Hypothesizing After Results Known).
    • Sanjay Srivastava has a summary of the article here and a deeper discussion here.
    • If you wonder why a researcher would do this, read this tweetstorm from a researcher whose paper was rejected because the findings weren’t statistically significant and what it means for publication bias.
    • Recall what Chris has pointed out before, whose research practices would come out of deep outside scrutiny unscathed?
  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has a “repo man” who goes after governments to recover missing or misused grant money.

Legislators need to follow Eliot Engels’ lead in naming their bills:

FlameThrowersReally