Tuesday, 12 April 2011
Evidence and Risk: Medicine meets the Philosophy of Science
Wagner Fellow (CPS)
LSE, Dept. of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
817R Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: The Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) movement obviously has its heart in the right place (what else should medicine be based on?!). However in trying to articulate a detailed view about what counts as evidence and why some results count as stronger evidence than others, EBM-ers have run into a series of difficulties which have resulted in a series of evidential muddles. A good deal of modern medicine is concerned to treat risk (specifically to lower the risk of developing some disease) rather than disease itself and some of these evidential muddles involve risk. This presentation suggests that progress towards eliminating these muddles can be achieved by using some simple principles from philosophy of science (or really just educated scientific commonsense).