Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm feeling kinda thirsty

Troubling news is spreading. I may have been going about my dissertation all wrong. The New York Times is reporting on some new 'research' that looks into to why some scientists are more productive than others. The findings? Productivity is correlated to the amount of beer the researcher drinks. The article states, "the more beer a scientist drinks, the less likely the scientist is to publish a paper or to have a paper cited by another researcher." Apparently alcohol's role in networking hasn't been helping the scientists.

Now, before anyone goes off the deep end, keep in mind that drinking some beer is good for you and the study does not say anything about bourbon. Here's to hoping that philosophy research is that different from scientific research..

-- Second Suitor

Update (from PGOAT): Let me take this opportunity to gratuitously re-post the Crack Spider video.

Nice web, Mr. Crack Spider.


Mr. Zero said...

Shit, dude. What about coffee, though? Does coffee increase citations? Is there some amount of coffee that will make up for 1 beer? How much coffee will I have to drink? Shit!

Anonymous said...

Beer Study=The more beer a researcher consumes the less likely it is that said researcher publishes.

Amphetamine Study=The more amphetamines a researcher consumes, the more likely it is that said researcher publishes.

Marijuana Study=The more THC a researcher consumes, the more likely it is that said researcher listens to Pink Floyd.

Anonymous said...

My friends and I like to say that we're not philosophers with a drinking problem, but we're drinkers with a philosophy problem.

For what it's worth.

Anonymous said...

Great links, 2ndS.

Three comments (maybe I'd have more to say if I'd had a beer this morning?):

1) As the article points out, causality hasn't been demonstrated. It could be that those who find themselves unproductive tend to drink. In other words, it might be that the less someone publishes, etc., the more likely it is that they'll drink beer.

2) My favorite part of the story? The end, where the scientist who conducted the study, and has been known to consume 12 beers in a night (?!), says he's not trying to discourage consumption, since he likes beer.
And his name? Dr. Grim.

A propose a toast to dear Dr. Grim!

3) I forgot the third. Maybe I should only have had 11 last night.

Anonymous said...

"Ever since there have been scientists, there have been those who are wildly successful, publishing one well-received paper after another..."

right, like when kepler got all those lines on his cv.

and when ibn al haytham kept cranking out a new piece every quarter in the journal of islamic optics.

and when theophrastus used get first author credits in nature all the time.

remind me: what are the qualifications for being a nytimes science journalist again?

Anonymous said...

Note that "some scientists" really means "Czech ornithologists" though. This is like saying "some philosophers" when you have just talked to a few St. Louis Hegelians.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

As we discover at the end of the video, the subject really isn't the crack spider, it's actually about the Crack Spider's Bitch. Which makes the connection to the current post yet more topical still.