The Best Comment I've Seen on the Lancet Study on Iraq
This came from Josiah Charles Stamp:
The individual source of the statistics may easily be the weakest link. Harold Cox tells a story of his life as a young man in India. He quoted some statistics to a Judge, an Englishman, and a very good fellow. His friend said, Cox, when you are a bit older, you will not quote Indian statistics with that assurance. The Government are very keen on amassing statisticsthey collect them, add them, raise them to the nth power, take the cube root and prepare wonderful diagrams. But what you must never forget is that every one of those figures comes in the first instance from the chowty dar [chowkidar] (village watchman), who just puts down what he damn pleases.
Addendum: Just a few minutes after posting the above, I found the following:
And these closed journals are hardly the kind of people whose pockets you’d want to line. Reed-Elsevier, for example, is one of the largest academic journal publishers in the world - they even own the Lancet – and they are the same company that runs the DSEI international arms fair in London, selling vile weapons to murderous regimes for cash profit extracted from very real suffering and pain, in countries you will never visit on holiday.Since this was in The Guardian, I'm not sure whether to approve or not.