Friday, December 11, 2009

Please no crappy graphs!

Almost every piece of product literature I picked up at the American Society for Cell Biology Meeting this year has a graph on it. Inevitably, the graph shows how much better the product performed against "random competitor A and B's" product. Not one of them has error bars.

Hello, in case you didn't notice? I'm a scientist. Every graph in every science paper has error bars because that means the scientists performed the experiment enough times to achieve statistical significance.

Life Science Marketers - you are selling products to scientists, go down to the basement where they are building new products and ask them why they buy the product vs. your competition.

Answers may include

1. My buddy in another lab/company told me it works great.

2. I saw it in a manuscript that other scientists were successfully using the product for my...experiment, cell line, organism, technique, gene, etc.

3. I talked with a scientist at a meeting/seminar about the product and they said it worked.

I seriously doubt the graph with no error bars will make the list.

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