Of the common teaching methods used in STEM, evidence from educational research strongly suggests that lecturing is the worst. A 2013 meta-analysis[Freeman] compared the effectiveness of lecturing with that of active engagement techniques. The metrics used were success rates and scores on standardized tests or other assessments. In all STEM subjects and by both types of measures, active engagement gave better results, with the difference being statistically significant at the 95% level in nearly all cases.
The research is not necessarily fine-grained enough to detect whether lecturing or active engagement might be better in one specific situation but not in another. However, there is some evidence that opposes certain hypotheses to the effect that lecturing would sometimes be better. Some of the most detailed evidence comes from physics,[Hake,Mazur] and that's what I'll summarize below.
The evidence does not seem to support the hypothesis that better students are better served by lecturing. In the survey by Hake, students were given a standardized test before and after instruction, and a normalized gain score was calculated for each student by dividing the increase in the student's score with instruction by the maximum increase that would have been possible. Students at highly selective schools often had high pretest scores, but such students still had poor normalized gains when they received instruction by lecturing.
The evidence does not seem to support any belief that lecturing can be a good technique when done by a highly skilled lecturer. The large survey by Hake found no cases in which lecturing resulted in high normalized gain scores.
The evidence does not seem to support the claim that problem-solving and other technical skills suffer due to active learning. Mazur shows evidence that active learning improves over-all performance, not just conceptual performance.
Freeman et al., "Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics," http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/05/08/1319030111
Hake, "Interactive Engagement Versus Traditional Methods: a Six-Thousand Student Survey of Mechanics Test Data for Introductory Physics Courses," Am. J. of Phys, 66 (1997) 64
Mazur, Peer Instruction: A User's Manual, 1996, http://www.amazon.com/Peer-Instruction-A-Users-Manual/dp/0135654416/ref