Avoiding the Pitfalls of Selection Bias
Event Date: January 21, 2021
Lecturer: Carl T. Bergstrom, Ph.D., University of Washington.
Selection bias occurs when the way a statistical sample is obtained prevents the sample form accurately represent the population about which one wishes to draw inferences. Straightforward as the issue may seem, selection bias is among the most pernicious perils of statistical inference. In this lecture I will discuss some of the many ways that selection bias and related phenomena, from right censoring to the Will Rogers effect, can arise in medical research and beyond. I’ll draw upon a range examples including recent studies on Covid-19.
Carl T. Bergstrom is a Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington. Dr. Bergstrom’s research uses mathematical, computational, and statistical models to understand how information flows through biological and social systems. His recent projects include contributions to the game theory of communication and deception, use of information theory to the study of evolution by natural selection, game-theoretic models and empirical work on the sociology of science, and development of mathematical techniques for mapping and comprehending large network datasets. In the applied domain, Dr. Bergstrom’s work illustrates the value of evolutionary biology for solving practical problems in medicine and beyond. These problems include dealing with drug resistance, handling the economic externalities associated with anthropogenic evolution, and controlling novel emerging pathogens such as the SARS virus, Ebola virus, and H5N1 avian influenza virus.
He is the coauthor of the college textbook Evolution, published by W. W. Norton and Co., and teaches undergraduate courses on evolutionary biology, evolutionary game theory, and the importance of evolutionary biology to the fields of medicine and public health. Dr. Bergstrom received his Ph.D. in theoretical population genetics from Stanford University in 1998; after a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Emory University, where he studied the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases, he joined the faculty at the University of Washington in 2001.