Epidemiology, Public Health, and the Rhetoric of False Positives
Blair, Aaron; Saracci, Rodolfo; Vineis, Paolo; Cocco, Pierluigi; Forastiere, Francesco; Grandjean, Philippe; Kogevinas, Manolis; Kriebel, David; McMichael, Anthony; Pearce, Neil; Porta, Miquel; Samet, Jonathan; Sandler, Dale P; Costantini, Adele Seniori; Vainio, Harry
BACKGROUND: As an observational science, epidemiology is regarded by some researchers as inherently flawed and open to false results. In a recent paper, Boffetta et al. [Boffetta P, McLaughlin JK, LaVecchia C, Tarone RE, Lipworth L, Blot WJ. False-positive results in cancer epidemiology: a plea for epistemological modesty. J Natl Cancer Inst 100:988-995 (2008)] argued that "epidemiology is particularly prone to the generation of false-positive results." They also said "the tendency to emphasize...[Show more]
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