Ben Goldacre published a commentary in Buzzfeed yesterday that beautifully illustrates the true benefits of a transparent, open, networked approach to science.
In 2004, a hugely influential study was conducted in Kenya that showed children’s health, survival and school performance could be improved with a simple, cheap, annual deworming pill. The trial resulted in the deworming of millions of children across the developing world, whether they had worms or not.
The story looks at the reanalysis of some of the deworming trial data that has recently been made available to researchers, with shockingly different results. The article is as interesting as it is important, yet another extraordinary example that highlights the need for data transparency in clinical trials.