NextGen Precision Health Discovery Series: Simulating Medicine

September 27, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Online on Zoom

Speaker: Jacob Stegenga, PhD, Professor of Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

Date: Tuesday, Sept 27, 2022, 12-1 p.m.
Location: Tom & Linda Atkins Family Seminar Room, Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health building

*Those who wish to attend virtually can request a Zoom link at registration

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This talk presents a developing programme in meta-research, or research about research, in which we simulate data to test hypotheses about medical research and clinical practice. Simulated data has a number of advantages over real data: access to real data is often impossible, especially in clinical science; we do not have unfiltered access to the truth of hypotheses with real data, while simulations allow us to stipulate the truth; and real data does not permit counterfactual analyses, while simulations afford the exploration of many counterfactual scenarios. In one set of simulations we investigate features of trials, asking questions like: to what extent does publication bias exaggerate estimates of effectiveness? In another, particularly important for precision health, we model the patient-physician encounter and ask: how reliable are first-person inferences about drug effectiveness?

Jacob Stegenga, PhD

About the Speaker

Jacob Stegenga is a Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He has published widely on fundamental topics in reasoning and rationality and philosophical problems in medicine and biology. Prior to joining Cambridge he taught in the United States and Canada, and he received his PhD from the University of California San Diego. He is the author of Medical Nihilism and Care and Cure: An Introduction to Philosophy of Medicine, and he is currently writing a book on the sciences of sexual desire.