Prof Ray Pawson, an 'exaugural' lecture Evidence-based medicine & evidence-based policy: the world’s most perfectly developed method & the 79-pound weakling?

Ray Pawson will attempt a methodological comparison of evidence-based medicine (EBM) and evidence-based policy (EBP).

Conventional narratives have honoured clinical (especially pharmaceutical) RCTs as the world’s most perfectly developed method. The quarrelsome, paradigm- heavy field of EBP is often dismissed as a seventy-nine pound weakling. The paper seeks to tear up these storylines. Pharmaceutical RCTs are only possible and meaningful because of many, prior years of basic biological and pharmacokinetic science. The underlying engine of drug developments is in fact a classic Popperian cycle.

The starting point is a problem, which evokes tentative solutions. These are subjected to the process of error elimination using a whole repertoire of research methods. In the course of these activities treatments slowly improve. EBP utilises the same logic of theory testing under a method called ‘realist evaluation’. At a stroke the bodybuilder and the weakling become one.


16:00 - 16:05 Introduction and opening of A Spotlight of Realism Leeds Events 2017

16:05 - 17:05 Prof Pawson Exaugural Lecture: Evidence-based Medicine & Evidence-based Policy

17:05 - 17:30 Q & A

17:30 - 18:00 Refreshments and Networking

18:00 Event close

Location Details

Room 12.21 and 12.25
Social Sciences Building
University of Leeds

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