Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

John Carlisle: In the Goldilocks zone

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 02 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:k5318
Duncan Smith


John Carlisle, 51, is a consultant anaesthetist at Torbay Hospital in Devon and a critic of dubious data in medical trials. Convinced that his specialty was being polluted by false claims from the Japanese researcher Yoshitaka Fujii, Carlisle responded to a challenge to prove this, developing a statistical method that can measure how likely it is that the baseline data in a randomised trial are true. Fujii failed the test and has since had more than 160 papers retracted, probably making him the world record holder. Since then, Carlisle himself has had a paper on the wonders of the Mediterranean diet retracted—for sloppy randomisation, not dishonesty. Trialists everywhere have …

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