Hunt, M. (1997). How science takes stock: The story of meta-analysis. NY: Russell Sage Foundation
How Science Takes Stock vividly tells the story of meta-analysis through the eyes of its architects and champions, and chronicles its history, techniques, achievements, and controversies. Noted science author Morton Hunt visits key practitioners and recounts their use of meta-analysis to resolve important scientific puzzles and longstanding debates. Does psychotherapy work, and if so what form works best? Does spending federal money on education really improve student performance? Can a single enzyme significantly decrease the risk of heart attack? Do boot camps reduce juvenile delinquency? With each account, Hunt illustrates the major components of the meta-analytic method, reveals strategies for resolving practical and theoretical problems, and discusses the impact of meta-analysis on the science and policy communities. In many cases, he demonstrates how meta-analysts have gone a step further to determine the causes of earlier discrepancies. In this way they not only identify successful approaches to the question at hand, but also clarify the conditions under which they will work best. Hunt also portrays the important but frequently controversial business of doing meta-analysis for legislators and government agencies, particularly in sensitive areas of social policy.
This volume conveys the power of meta-analysis to help social policymakers and health professionals resolve their most pressing problems.