Scientific Success and Beer
According to a study by Dr. Tomas Grim, published in Oikos, the more beer a scientist drinks, the less likely he is to publish a paper or to have a paper cited by another researcher. Scientific output does not simply drop off among the heaviest drinkers, but declines steadily with increasing beer consumption. Dr. Grim, an ornithologist at Palacky University in the Czech Republic, gathered the data by surveying his fellow Czech ornithologists about their beer drinking habits. But biologists in the Czech Republic could prove to be an anomaly, as that country happens to have the highest rate of beer consumption on earth. And there is the distinct possibility of confusing effect with cause; that it is not beer drinking that causes poor scientific performance, but the opposite, as those with lackluster publication records attempt to drown their sorrows. In spite of his study, Dr. Grim, who said he sometimes knocks back more than 12 beers in a night (!), is not interested in reducing beer drinking among scientists, as, for his part, he says, "I like it."