Beer and science don’t mix

Beer and science don’t mix March 5, 2008

Via EvoPhylo, a Czech study on the effects of beer drinking on scientific output – and the news isn’t good. After controlling for age, the more beer a scientist drank, the fewer papers they published. And the beer drinkers got fewer citations per paper too.

What’s more, scientists living in Bohemia (beer-swilling sybarites) have a worse publication record than those living in Moravia (upstanding temperates).

The author goes on to note, somewhat glumly:

Importantly, publication success directly influences both financial income and social status both of which are known to affect fitness (Hopcroft 2006, Hauber 2007). Thus, quantity and quality of publications may have far reaching consequences for social success of academic workers and, consequently, may affect their biological success as well.

In other words, scientists who lay off the beer probably have more sex. The paper is Grim 2008 – a sure case of nominative determinism!

Still, the study was done on behavioural ecologists – maybe there’s still hope for other scientists.


Tomáš Grim. A possible role of social activity to explain differences in publication output among ecologists. Oikos 2008 doi:10.1111/j.2008.0030-1299.16551.x

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