Sunday, 18 November 2012

Chocolate and Nobel Laureates

Eating more chocolate improves a nation's chances of producing Nobel Prize winners - or at least that's what a recent study appears to suggest. But how much chocolate do Nobel laureates eat, and how could any such link be explained?

Franz Messerli of Colombia University took the number of Nobel Prize winners in a country as an indicator of general national intelligence and compared that with the nation's chocolate consumption. The results - published in the New England Journal of Medicine - were striking.

"When you correlate the two - the chocolate consumption with the number of Nobel prize laureates per capita - there is an incredibly close relationship," he says.

"This correlation has a 'P value' of 0.0001. This means there is a less than one-in-10,000 probability that this correlation is simply down to chance."

It might not surprise you that Switzerland came top of the chocolate-fuelled league of intelligence, having both the highest chocolate consumption per head and also the highest number of Nobel laureates per capita.

This is the sort of study you find published on April 1st ........ but it's November!
Read the whole article and if you believe the facts it's pretty convincing.  Can it be true???


  1. [The researcher] "took the number of Nobel Prize winners in a country as an indicator of general national intelligence".

    Well, that's a dubious assumption to start with!

    And what about "the number of Nobel Prize winners"? Nobel Prize for Peace and Nobel Prize for Physics may be next to each other on a list but they're hardly in the same league.

    I wonder who paid for this research...?

  2. I think it's a perfect example of a scientific observation where the data may be perfectly correct, but the relationship in terms of cause and effect between the two parameters (in this case chocolate and Nobel Laureates) is complete conjecture.


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