Causal inference in randomized controlled trials

The theory of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) is introduced and epistemological questions raised. To what extent does a statistically significant result in an RCT permit a causal inference? Fallacies of statistical inference are discussed as is the relationship between
causal inference from RCTs and Inference to the Best Explanation.

Core reading:
Elwood, M. (2007) Critical Appraisal of Epidemiological Studies and Clinical Trials OUP. Chapter 1, chapter 7, part 1,
Bland, M. (2000) An Introduction to Medical Statistics OUP. Chapter 2, chapter 9.