Announcing our TED Prize 2015 winner: Dave Isay of StoryCorps

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TED Blog

Dave Isay of StoryCorps is the winner of the 2015 TED Prize. On March 17, he'll reveal his wish. Photo: StoryCorps Dave Isay of StoryCorps is the winner of the 2015 TED Prize. On March 17, he’ll reveal his wish. Photo: StoryCorps

“I’m a storyteller.”

It’s a sentence that can be found in a wide variety of TED Talks — because, really, it is the heart of what we do.

This is why, for the 10th anniversary of the TED Prize in 2015, we are thrilled to award the million-dollar prize to Dave Isay, the founder of StoryCorps. A large-scale oral history project, StoryCorps puts two people who know each other well — a husband and wife, a father and son, longtime co-workers — in a recording booth, giving them 40 minutes to have a real conversation, the kind that digs beyond the mundanities of life to unlock the powerful stories we each hold inside. So far, 100,000 Americans have participated in StoryCorps. All the digital audio files go to…

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JAMA Forum: An Observational Study Goes Where Randomized Clinical Trials Have Not

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news@JAMA

Austin B. Frakt, PhD (Image: Doug Levy) Austin B. Frakt, PhD (Image: Doug Levy)

Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) are considered the “gold standard” for providing actionable evidence to guide clinical decision making. However, they cannot always address important questions. For instance, statistically significant results for low-frequency outcomes like mortality sometimes require longer follow-up times or larger studies than can be practically undertaken.

In such cases, we have a choice: we can either go without evidence or we can turn to observational studies. Such studies often can be much larger and accommodate longer follow-ups. But because participants are not explicitly randomly assigned to treatment and control groups, observational studies can produce biased results. There are, however, advances in methods that can minimize that bias and increase our confidence in findings.

Consider a recent observational study comparing 2 classes of drugs that are used to treat type 2 diabetes when initial treatment fails to control blood-sugar level. The investigators…

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