Bayesian statistics, health economics and random stuff
This comes as the results of two external forces that have prompted me to do some work on the website — specifically the section on books. The first one is the newest version of hugo-academic (which is the engine underlying the whole of my website, together with the R package blogdown). This has a new facility that can be used to format books or tutorial or documentation. Trouble is that it assumes that you’re writing a book and so if you have a folder named “book” it automatically use that new format for the pages in that folder.
Our paper on the CBD trial has just been published in The Lancet Psychiatry (and found its way through the media, for example here or here). Basically, the objective was to determine whether (a specific dose of) CBD was a safe treatment for cannabis addition (I’d already talked about this here and here). This has been quite a long process — I think even before I got involved there has been lots of work put in.
I was reading the (Italian) newspapers today and saw a few articles about the upcoming Referendum. It will be held in September and it will legislate about whether the constitution should be changed to modify the number of MPs (400 from the current 630 in the lower house, Camera dei Deputati; and 200 from 315 in the upper house, the Senate). This is a long-standing debate in Italian politics — I think that the original constitution only mandated a number of representative that was proportional to the population and the number was later fixed in the 1960s.
This is quite exciting: since Nathan (this is his very interesting blog) has arrived to UCL a couple of months ago, we’ve started to work on quite a few of very interesting projects — including a major “refactoring” of the code for BCEA. I’m obviously very attached to BCEA — it’s basically my first R package and one I’ve spent lots of time thinking about and then working on. And I think it’s usually very helpful to practitioners and I always push people around to try and get them to use it.
This is now borderline very old, although sadly not out of trend… In May/early June, Marta, Michela, Monica and I, together with colleagues at the Italian Statistical Institute, have worked on a paper to model the excess mortality due to COVID-19, in Italy. I think this is something that lots of people have done/tried to do — not that we’ve done it better necessarily; but I think it’s important and interesting to realise that there is no such as thing as the “true” excess mortality (due to anything, for that matter).