As early as the mid-1950s, Dr. Meier was one of the first and most vocal proponents of what is called “randomization.”Paul Meier, Statistician Who Revolutionized Medical Trials, Dies at 87 (Thanks, David (dr at BB))
Under the protocol, researchers randomly assign one group of patients to receive an experimental treatment and another to receive the standard treatment. In that way, the researchers try to avoid unintentionally skewing the results by choosing, for example, the healthier or younger patients to receive the new treatment.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.