Open Science: This Time in Orthodontics

Last month it was the Antarctic Scientists, this month the Orthodontists, and once again I had a most enjoyable time. Lindsay my wife and I are just back from 5 days in Sydney. I was speaking at the 26th Australian Orthodontic Congress, which is the biennial meeting of the Australian Society of Orthodontists.

My first presentation was a 90 min workshop for post-graduate students: Open Science and The New Statistics: Doing Research in the Post-p<.05 World. My slides are here. There were about 100 grad students in the group, and I felt they were very much on the ball. It was a pleasure to discuss with them Open Science, and better ways to do statistics.

My second presentation was 30 min in the Doctors’ Program, meaning the main Congress. Considering that most were practitioners, and thus mainly consumers of research, my title was: Open Science and The New Statistics: What Research Looks Like in This Post-p<.05 World. My shorter set of slides is here.

That night was party night, so I could chat to numerous people about Open Science, orthodontics, statistics, and lots more, as our party boat slowly cruised around Sydney Harbour and fine food and drink was served. People were clearly getting the Open Science message, and I heard many stories about selective publication, problems with getting research published, and the need for replication. The next morning I had a 60 min slot for follow-up discussion. I was impressed that more than 100 people came. I could by then say a bit more about Open Science and the new statistics in the context of orthodontics. Some excellent questions were raised from the floor.

It was clear that many smart and highly accomplished people were joining the discussion. It was also clear that many appreciated that orthodontics must lift its research game. I was asked what, concretely, the Australian journal should do, and what the ASO Foundation–which sponsors much research and post-grad student project work–should do. More generally, what can ASO do to lift standards, in accord with Open Science practices?

I asked Brian Nosek, ED of the Center for Open Science, how best the ASO could obtain COS advice, and access to the services offered by COS. He kindly replied immediately, nominating Matt Spitzer, leader of the COS Community team. Email: So Matt should be able to provide advice and contacts for ASO leaders interested in adopting Open Science practices. Maybe even contacts with other groups of orthodontists, or other medical professionals, who are also working towards Open Science?

It’s great to know that Open Science awareness is spreading to yet more disciplines and professions. I could even point out that, already, three orthodontic journals have signed up to the TOP guidelines. So things are already changing in orthodontics. Well done to those who are pushing this ahead–and to those who are about to take things even further.

P.S. Thanks to the ASO, especially Mark Cordato and Ali Darendeliler, for the invitation and generous hospitality.
P.P.S. Lindsay and I enjoyed our comfortable hotel room, a corner room on the 22nd floor with amazing views over the Harbour. One day we took the ferry to the Sydney Opera House and saw an excellent performance of Carmen in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, then took the ferry back ‘home’ again. One of life’s good experiences!
P.P.P.S. Just near the International Conference Centre, on Darling Harbour, we happened on Experiment Street. A sign that science and evidence matter, at least to some folks around there?

3 comments on “Open Science: This Time in Orthodontics
  1. Anoop says:

    Thank you for the nice, short review, and spreading the message. I hope you heard the Bayes factor podcast (Dan Simons episode). They mention your dance of p values!

  2. Geoff Cumming says:

    Thanks Anoop! Yes, that podcast is great. My post about it is at:

  3. Mark Cordato says:

    I can only echo Geoff’s comments. The Journal editor and all the orthodontic department heads were present as well as a body which provides research funds.
    I hope the vertical integration will provide incentive to improve orthodontic science. Thanks Geoff and COS

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