Catch up on shows with The Coast On Demand
Friday, October 12, 2012
A new study published in one of the world's most prestigious medical journals, has found a link between a country's chocolate consumption and the number of Nobel laureates it produces per capita.
The winners in that race, are the Swiss, closely followed by the Swedes and the Danes.
Previous laureates have light-heartedly greeted the study's findings.
"I attribute essentially all my success to the very large amount of chocolate that I consume," said Eric Cornell, an American physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in 2001.
"Personally I feel that milk chocolate makes you stupid," he added. "Now dark chocolate is the way to go. It's one thing if you want like a medicine or chemistry Nobel Prize, OK, but if you want a physics Nobel Prize it pretty much has got to be dark chocolate!"
Seriously though, freak results come up regularly in studies and the good Professor behind this one, says it's made a joke out of a statistic that virtually all studies in medical journals hinge on - the so-called p-value.
The p-value Messerli calculated was 0.0001.
"This means that the odds of this being due to chance are less than one in 10,000," he said. "As physician scientists we live and die by p-values, and here we have a p-value of a magnitude that is incredible, and unless you teach me otherwise it's a complete nonsense correlation."
"That is really some of the concern here."
"Scientists look at hundreds and hundreds of different things, and every once in a while they will find two things that are surprisingly correlated with each other, and then they will say, 'Look at those very strong correlations and how important that is,'
The other possibility is that the link is real, but meaningless.
"National chocolate consumption is correlated with a country's wealth and high-quality research is correlated with a country's wealth," said Cornell. "So therefore chocolate is going to be correlated with high-quality research, but there is no causal connection there."
Ah well, as far as I'm concerned, it's dark chocolate on a regular basis for me anyway - study or no study!
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