trial evidence


RCTs: the next big thing in politics?

The British physician Ben Goldacre, whose 2008 book Bad Science pushed him into the global front rank of science popularizers, has collaborated with a UK government thingie called the “Behavioural Insights Team” on an important paper whose title alone captures a significant amount of its importance. It’s called “Test, Learn, Adapt: Developing Public Policy with Randomised Controlled Trials”. Goldacre refers to the paper as an attempt at writing a “Ladybird Book” on public-policy RCTs. I am not quite sure how to translate this for the New World audience: “Public Policy RCTs for Dummies” would be in the ballpark, though possibly in the left-field bleachers.