Jefferson & Jørgensen recently wrote an interesting editorial in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, “Redefining the ‘E’ in EBM,” discussing the nature of evidence and the messy search for it in the current research environment. A couple quotes are worth pulling out:
“By the law of Garbage In Garbage Out, whatever we produce in our reviews will be systematically assembled and synthesised garbage with a nice Cochrane logo on it.”
Reading this amusing line reminded me of an even more amusing exchange from the Friends episode, “The One with the Dirty Girl” (Season 4, Episode 6), where Ross gives the following short rant:
Ross: You know how you throw your jacket on a chair at the end of the day?
Ross: Well, like that, only that instead of a chair it's a pile of garbage.
And instead of a jacket it's a pile of garbage.
And instead of the end of the day it's the end of time, and garbage is all that has survived.
On a more serious note, Jefferson & Jørgensen end with a line worth remembering, inviting the reader to consider more deeply the issues they discuss:
“Ethics and Evidence both begin with ‘E.’”