This is a long read, a gobsmacking account of the way billionaire John Arnold got into the war on bad science. After listening to the libertarain Russ Roberts on EconTalk he started giving out real money. The Arnold Foundation.
As Nosek tells it, John Arnold had read about the Reproducibility Project in The Chronicle of Higher Education and wanted to talk. By the following year, Nosek was cofounding an institution called the Center for Open Science with an initial $5.25 million grant from the Arnold Foundation. More than $10 million more in Arnold Foundation grants have come since. “It completely transformed what we could imagine doing,” Nosek says. Projects that Nosek had once envisioned as modest efforts carried out in his lab were now being conducted on an entirely different scale at the center’s startup-like offices in downtown Charlottesville, with some 70 employees and interns churning out code and poring over research. The skeletal software behind the data-sharing project became a slick cloud-based platform, which has now been used by more than 30,000 researchers.
John Ioannidis was put in touch with the Arnolds in 2013. A childhood math prodigy turned medical researcher, Ioannidis became a kind of godfather to the science reform crowd in 2005, when he published two devastating papers—one of them titled simply “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.” Now, with a $6 million initial grant from the Arnold Foundation, Ioannidis and his colleague Steven Goodman are setting out to turn the study of scientific practice—known as meta-research—into a full-fledged field in its own right, with a new research center at Stanford.
British doctor Ben Gold¬acre also got an email from the Arnold Foundation in 2013. Famous in England as a sharp-witted scourge of “bad science,” Goldacre spent years building up a case that pharmaceutical companies, by refusing to reveal all their data, have essentially deceived the public into paying for worthless therapies. Now, with multiple grants from the Arnolds, he is leading an effort to build an open, searchable database that will link all publicly available information on every clinical trial in the world.
Police doing better at taking stuff than the burglars. h/t the evil dwarf.
Our man Dan in DC, a reminder. On seizing assets. You are supposed to sign up and get his stuff in your email so I don’t have to post links here. Benefits of less government spending in the UK. Great moments in foreign government.
• The British government giving welfare to people with multiple wives.
• The German government having a jihadist working in one of its intelligence agencies.
• The Italian government appointing the wrong person for a job that shouldn’t exist.
• The Norwegian government financing friends for a mass murderer.
• The Greek government turning tourists into snoops for the tax police.
• The French government ordering trains that were too wide for railway stations.
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