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  • Skepticism is overrated

    Leo Kim, Ph.D
    Career Paths
    Biopharma Research
    Rate this article:

    The Dour and SourYes, that’s right. Those of us bred in academia, we are a bunch of pessimists. Or, at least industry people perceive us, so you’d better get used to a new norm if you are determined not to become an anachronism. Get it? No? Ok, here’s an example. Your company just completed a clinical trial. Data shows that drug treatment groups seem to be slightly better off than a placebo arm, but not in a statistically significant way. You describe the results to your Wall Street investors. You are a smart PhD with ingrained scientific rigor in your DNA, so you proceed as follows. “With a p-value greater than 0.05, there is more than a 1 in 20 chance that patient improvement in treatment arms is a consequence of mere random drift, therefore… ...