“Pernicious traits are to do with human nature. The biggest is a complete absence of self-knowledge.”
Keith Baggerly, Professor of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Research Center, can be thought of as a data detective. Bioinformatics involves assessing high-throughput molecular diagnostics, typically thousands of measures of genes at a time, for suitable medical treatments.
But Baggerly’s work has often centred on attempts to reproduce work previously done by others, which is typically hard to do in this field due to a lack of methodological precision in the analysis of large datasets. Baggerly emphasises the importance of clean data for improving accuracy. He also advocates the pre-specification of hypotheses and models to be used in an experiment in order to guard against false positives or negatives.