Monday, 18 March 2013

Knowing what we are talking about: why evidence doesn't always travel

an article by Nancy Cartwright (Durham University, UK) published in Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice Volume 9 Number 1 (January 2013 )


When is a well-established study result that a given policy/programme/treatment produced a given outcome in a particular study setting ('there') evidence that that policy/programme/treatment will produce that outcome in a new setting ('here')?

This paper insists that 'there' and 'here' be firmly distinguished and offers in answer that we must have evidence that two further facts obtain:
  1. that the policy can play the same causal role widely (widely enough to cover both here and there) and
  2. that a complete set of the support factors necessary for the policy to operate here are present in some individuals here.
Full text (PDF 16pp)

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