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Page last updated at 09:24 GMT, Tuesday, 26 June 2012 10:24 UK

Should government policies be subject to random trials?

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A report from the Behaviour Insight Unit in the Cabinet Office suggests government policy initiatives should be subject to the same kind of randomised control trials used to test new medicines and new ways of doing business.

Ben Goldacre, who writes the Bad Science column in the Guardian and co-authored the report, says a randomised trial is a "very good way of finding out if the practical objectives of your policy intervention have been achieved but not very good for measuring whether the ideological objectives of your policy are morally or ethically sound".

He suggests that trials could be done on "very simple, uncontroversial areas" of policy.


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