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Wrong Michael Bracken?

Dr. Michael B. Bracken

Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology

Yale University

Direct Phone: (203) ***-****       

Email: m***@***.edu

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Yale University

333 Cedar St

New Haven, Connecticut 06510

United States

Company Description

Yale University, a preeminent global university founded in New Haven, Connecticut in 1701, consists of three major academic components: Yale College, for undergraduate liberal arts; the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, offering advanced degrees in 73 ... more

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Background Information

Employment History


Cochrane SA


Society for Epidemiologic Research


American Journal of Epidemiology


Advisory Board Member
National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation

Board Member
The American Council on Science and Health , Inc.

Member of the Editorial Board of the Neonatal Review Group
Cochrane Collaboration


Member of the Planning Committee
Congress of Epidemiology

Green College


St Paul


University of London

Honorary Doctorate

University of Gloucestershire


Harvard School of Public Health


Yale School of Public Health


Yale University


Harvard Medical School


New York University School of Medicine , New York City


Yale University


Yale University School of Medicine

Web References (199 Total References)

Safer Medicines ::Medical research in the news [cached]

Alarmingly, despite all the above-mentioned flaws in reporting of clinical research, it is still of a far higher standard than the reporting and conduct of animal research, as stroke research group Camarades ( has found: 'This lack of advanced scientific methods leaves many questions about the value of animal research unanswered' - Professor Michael Bracken, Yale University.

Safer Medicines ::Medical research in the news [cached]

Writing in the British Medical Journal, Dr Pandora Pound and Michael Bracken, Professor of Epidemiology at Yale University Schools of Public Health and Medicine, advise that: "urgent attention needs to be paid to the quality of animal research for important reasons.

Michael Bracken [cached]

A 19th century cartoon used as the image for the book cover of Risk, Chance, and Causation by Yale University's Michael Bracken piqued our curiosity more than usual when we learn about new books.

The Epidemiology Monitor questioned Mike Bracken about his new book, and here is what he had to say. Readers interested in reviewing the book for The Epidemiology Monitor should contact us at We will select a qualified reviewer who will get a free copy of the book in exchange for the review.
Epi Monitor: The book has a humorous image on the cover for an epidemiology book. What is that image and why was it selected?
Bracken: James Gilray is a famous satirical cartoonist working at the turn of the 18 th century and in this
Bracken: I hoped to write a book that explored for the public the work of epidemiologists. The public faces a tsunami of misinformation about the value of therapies and the risks of environmental and life-style exposures.
Bracken: We all take risks every day without giving much thought to the pros and cons, or weighing alternatives.
Bracken: We epidemiologists talk about risk and chance and causation continuously in our daily work, often without spending too much time analyzing them in depth.
Bracken: The hardest part of writing the book was pitching the material to a non-specialist audience. Not being too technical while not dumbing it down and over-simplifying. After a lifetime writing papers for scientific journals it took some time to find the style I was hoping for and I'm not sure I was completely successful.
Epi Monitor: How would you contrast your book with existing epidemiology textbooks?
Bracken:Risk Chance and Causation is not a textbook.
Bracken: Because of my own interests and from teaching evidence based medicine and health care the book melds these newer paradigms with more traditional themes in observational and classic epidemiology.
Bracken: I was writing daily for about 12 weeks to draft 80% of it while on sabbatical at my home outside Oxford, which may explain the large number of references to British epidemiology.
"Using a great range of examples, Michael Bracken provides a masterful guide to identifying the many false claims about what makes humans healthy or sick.

6th_Edition_of_Dictionary_of_Epidemiology [cached]

According to Yale epidemiologist Michael Bracken , one of the authors of the series, "while the biomedical research community currently provides a huge amount of benefit to society, it does so in spite of the present high degree of wasted research, [and] this series documents how much more could be accomplished if we substantially improved the efficiency of the research enterprise.

The topic is not a new ... [cached]

The topic is not a new one and has been tracked for some time by Michael Bracken, professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health. Speaking as the Robert S Gordon Jr Lecturer on "Inefficiency and Waste in Biomedical Research: How Prevalent Is It, What Are Its Causes, and How Is It Prevented? Bracken described ways in which research work is wasted.

"Repeat studies tend to no effect," Bracken told the NIH audience, "and the risk of being misled is very high."
Bracken discussed the topic of false positive results in many observational studies whose results were overturned in clinical trials, and said that implementing larger studies did not automatically remove bias. He reflected on the angst these false positives have created in the epidemiology community and even offered the opinion that the much discussed and criticized article several years ago by Gary Taubes in Science entitled "Epidemiology Faces Its Limits" actually rendered a service to the profession.
Wasteful Replication
An important contributor to the waste in research is the work done to replicate previous findings. According to Bracken, such replication reaches a point at which the replication is no longer necessary because the evidence is in.
Among the measures advocated by Bracken to help prevent wasted research are the following:
1. Reduce the play of chance by designing studies with more stringent alpha and beta values in much larger studies. Bracken recommends using alpha errors of 0.01 or 0.005 rather than 0.05 and a beta error of 0.10 not 0.20
2. Pay more attention to threats from multiple comparisons. Bracken reminded the audience that when Bradford Hill was describing standards for relying on research findings, there was often only one hypothesis per study being tested.
"A different world" said Bracken.

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