Faculty Pub Night Featuring Ben Fitzpatrick

All LMU students, faculty, and staff, and community guests are invited to join us on October 15, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. for the second Pub Night of the 2019-2020 season, featuring Ben Fitzpatrick, Professor of Mathematics. Fitzpatrick will discuss his recent publication, “Getting Personal with the ‘Reproducibility Crisis’: Interviews in the Animal Research Community.”

Please RSVP for this Event

About the Author’s Work

Frustrated by the slow translation of basic research into successful clinical trials, researchers at Bayer and at Amgen attempted to replicate 120 published biomedical studies. The results were not good: 89% of the Amgen replications failed to align with published work, and 64% of Bayer’s attempts showed inconsistencies. Among the culprits are experimental designs and statistical analyses that lack rigor.

Responding to this “crisis of reproducibility,” the National Institutes of Health have created new guidelines for rigor and reproducibility, including renewed attention to statistical aspects of the research. In “Getting Personal with the ‘Reproducibility Crisis,’” Ben Fitzpatrick discusses the results of interviews with over 130 stakeholders in the biomedical research and development pipeline, ranging from grad students and postdocs in academic labs to pharmaceutical executives, funding organization personnel, and government regulators. Most academics expressed concern with their statistical design and analysis capabilities, yet few consult with statistical experts.

These findings highlight challenges facing the statistical community as it recommends abandoning the phrase “statistical significance” and calls for reducing the reliance on classical statistical hypothesis testing, the quantitative toolkit most used in the biomedical research. The need for new approaches to statistical education has never been greater.

About the Author

Ben G. Fitzpatrick is the Clarence J. Wallen, S.J., Professor of Mathematics at Loyola Marymount University, where he teaches a variety of applied mathematics and statistics courses. His nearly 40-year career has spanned both academic and industrial positions, allowing him to work in both basic research and collaborative applied work that brings mathematical and statistical methods to bear on problems in business and economics, engineering, life and social sciences, and public health. In addition to his basic research into uncertainty quantification, Fitzpatrick’s current work spans a variety of applied areas, including evaluating a statewide mental health services initiative in California, uncovering the mechanisms and behavior of gene regulatory networks, and balancing the competing objectives of states in models of environmental federalism.

About Faculty Pub Night

Students, staff, faculty, alumni, and any members of the public are all invited to the 2019-2020 series of Faculty Pub Night at the William H. Hannon Library. Eight LMU professors (four per semester) are selected annually to discuss their latest publication or project in a comfortable setting and format that welcomes diverse perspectives for an inclusive conversation aimed to educate the entire community. All Faculty Pub Nights are free and open to the public. Pub refreshments and snacks will be served courtesy of the William H. Hannon Library.

For more information about this event, contact John Jackson, Head of Outreach & Communications for the William H. Hannon Library, at (310) 338-5234 or john.jackson@lmu.edu.