Dr. Hibbert, Dr. Nick, and Simpson’s paradox

Last week, the anti-vaccine movement latched onto some scary reports out of Israel:

OMG, we’re doomed! (Source)

Over half of the new daily cases in the country are in vaccinated people! Insanity! This has got to mean that the vaccine doesn’t work, right? …

Denominators (still) matter

A couple of weeks ago, internal CDC data about the Delta variant leaked to the public. There was a lot to process in this tranche of data—like, for example, the fact that Delta is way more transmissible than the original version of Covid-19.

Perhaps predictably, however, the anti-vaccine movement has…

We fund what we care about (and we care about what we fund)

Last week, I got the forty-second grant rejection of my academic career. This puts my overall grant success rate at about 10%. In other words, for every ten grants I write, nine get rejected.

What follows isn’t a sob story about rejection, however. Rejection is part of the academic game.

Or: why denominators matter

Slowly but surely, we’re getting vaccinated. (In high-income countries, at least, but this isn’t a post about vaccine nationalism).

Covid case counts in the US have steadily decreased since mid-April, reaching numbers we haven’t seen since March of last year. It’s pretty phenomenal.

New Covid cases per day in the US (Source: New York Times)

So, this is…

How do we know what we know?

Let me introduce you to Paul. When I was younger, Paul once told me:

“Listen, if you can’t believe the Bible about the Creation, how are you ever going to believe it when it tells you that Jesus rose from the dead?”

Paul had dark hair, which he parted to…

Let’s talk about catastrophic expenditures in health

This piece originally appeared in the WorldBank DATA Blog.

Two thousand years ago, the story goes, an itinerant carpenter-prophet in Palestine met a woman who had suffered from a bleeding condition for twelve years. She had gone to see this man because she had already “suffered a great deal under…

The Great Barrington Trojan Horse

My old college roommates are really smart.

Like, really smart. …

Today, I want to talk about testing. It’s become a bit of a hot topic, especially with the #BlackLivesMatter protests of the last few weeks. Governor Andrew Cuomo has made coronavirus testing free to New Yorkers, and Governor Charlie Baker followed suit a week later in Massachusetts.

(On the other…

The other day, this brilliant meme made its internet rounds:

Silly rabbit! Masks are for sheep!

and we need to talk about it.

But first, let’s talk about prisoners. Before you go any further, I’ve got two disclaimers at the bottom of this post that you should read. I’ll be here when you get back.


Over the last week or two, pre-emptive postmortems on the continuing worldwide shutdowns due to Covid-19 have begun to metastasize. Their authors stand in judgment over these shutdowns, claiming to present incontrovertible facts that prove that the shutdowns were unnecessary.

These postmortems get published in widely-read, respected periodicals like The…

Mark Shrime, MD, PhD

O’Brien Chair of Global Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland | Global surgeon | Decision analyst | Climber | 3x American Ninja Warrior Competitor

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