Nearly Bye Bye, Florence

I’m (nearly) finished with our summer school in Florence — we only have tomorrow left, when Anna and I will speak a bit more about Value of Information (and specifically EVSI stuff). Howard and Chris have left (well, techinically, Howard will very early tomorrow, but he’s done teaching for this year).

I have to say I’m pretty pleased with how it’s going (well… I could probably say “how it’s gone” at this stage): we had a slightly changed line-up of lecturers, but I think all has worked OK. I think throughout the week, we’ve been pretty bad at time-keeping; I can’t remember now, but essentially, I guess we’ve run over by almost one hour on every single day. Which isn’t great, I think, but people have been really great and enthusiastic about the challenge of listening to us talking and then doing the practicals, so I think all was good.

Another new thing I’ve tried this year is to use GitHub to manage the flow of information and the exchange of material with the participants. That went pretty well — I think the more I play around with GitHub, the more I really like it! There were (annoyingly!) a few typos and imprecisions left on the handouts that we’ve exchanged with the participants before hand; I was able to modify the slides almost on the fly and re-upload them, so kind-of OK… I hope that the notes I/we’ve taken this year with little tweaks and things to change will be acted on for next year!

Finally, I’ve really enjoyed the company. This time around we had a relatively large group (for our self-imposed, not-too-ambitious standards) but it seems like people were very keen on mixing up, going out together and generally enjoying spending time together. Sure, the place does help, but still… And on an even brighter note, instead of bringing with me the bad weather (which my friends and family accuse me to all the time), this year we’ve clearly contributed to fighting cold and rain!

Next week, I’m off to Albacete for the Conference of the Spanish Health Economics Association, where Andrea and I will give a pre-conference workshop on missing data in HTA; then I’ll speak in what sounds like a very cool session (with Elias Moreno and Andrea Manca). And Antonio will also speak about our preliminary work on several interesting bits related to his PhD (to do with treatment adjusting in the case of unbalanced indirect comparisons and — down the line — survival modelling).

Then is back home — and finally to conclude the editing of our book on Bayesian methods in pharmaceutical research. But this is a post for another day!…

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