Thursday, November 12, 2009

Crazy teacher rant

We all encourage our students to attend professional conferences to network with established scientists and learn new research techniques.
****The good:
A terrific presentation on the use of video recording and detailed analysis to study the nature of the interaction between nursing assistants and residents in long term care. Very cool method, very caring researcher. Kudos to Dr. Lene Levy-Storms and her colleagues.

Kudos to all the good presentations made by our students/post-docs (who never commit any of the errors outlined below): Jessica Bellinger, Minnjuan Flournoy, Chinelo Ogbuanu, & Lekhena Sros.

And kudos to all the wonderful researchers whose presentations I could not attend, as there were 900 individual sessions in a very short period.

****The .... you know.

The next time I attend the APHA Annual Conference, I would dearly love a magic wand [or similar] with which to smite the research unrighteous. Actually, since many presenters are students, I would like to smite the presenters' mentors:

-- If you test 18 [or more] different outcomes and 2 of them are significant at p less than 0.05, don't get all excited. Do the math. Bassmasters does not do this much fishing.

-- Results that do not differ statistically DO NOT DIFFER. Don't pretend they do by discussing them anyway. The purpose of science is to generate new knowledge, not to confirm your hypotheses.

-- Do NOT create "slides" that are actually the sentences from your abstract, pasted into PPT, which you then read.

Kudos to Dr. Van Nostrand

Back from APHA Annual Conference, we are delighted to note the honor afforded to Dr. Joan Van Nostrand of the Office of Rural Health Policy: A Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gerontological Health Section of the American Public Health Association. Beginning with her work at the National Center for Health Statistics (we won't say when), Dr. Van Nostrand has consistently expanded the nation's understanding of health status and the provision of health care among older adults. Since we all plan on being older one day, her work examining issues such as home health care and nursing homes will benefit all of us.