You may be familiar with IMARC Research’s History of Clinical Research (HCR). We recently released an eBook about it that briefly describes all of the images that currently make up the timeline. If you have visited our office, you may have also been given a guided tour of one of our most renowned resources. Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have received, we will be highlighting each time point with a series of blogs that we plan to release over the course of the 2014 calendar year.
If you are reading this blog, there is a good chance that you are somehow involved in the clinical research process. As such, you probably are familiar with one of the building blocks of scientific experimentation – Classic Experimental Design. For those of you who are not, the Classical Experimental Design is a form of scientific experimentation where subjects are separated into two different groups (the experimental group and the control group). Both groups are measured on some variable, then the experimental group is exposed to something (typically some form of treatment), while the control is not. Then, both groups are measured again to see if any differences are observed. So long as the experimenter ensures that everything else that the two groups experience is the same, they can attribute any differences noted to the treatment in which the experimental group was exposed to. Here is a basic graphic illustration in the form of a table:
An example of the concept of Classical Experimental Design can be first noted in the biblical story Daniel 1, also known as the Book of Daniel. In this story, the King provided meat and wine for all in his kingdom. Daniel decided he did not wish to defile himself by partaking in these luxuries, so he and three others chose to eat vegetables and water instead. This would go on for ten days, and at the conclusion it could be observed which group was “fair” and which group was “fatter” in countenance of flesh. As one might expect, Daniels group indeed was “fairer” in the end. Despite this, the use of Classical Experimental Design did not become common practice until the 19th century. Daniel truly was ahead of his time.
Here at IMARC, we like to always reflect on our roots and appreciate the current clinical research climate in which we work. The Book of Daniel is another one of the building blocks in the Clinical Research Timeline that wanted to highlight with you this month. We hope you enjoy our continued spotlight on the events which helped shape our present landscape, and look forward to any comments you may have.
Photo Credt: Nicolette Capuano