Based at the Moffitt Cancer Center, Florida, Cancer Ecology is a small research group led by David Basanta. We are mathematical modellers who work with biologists and clinicians, trying to understand the ecology of tumors and the evolutionary dynamics of cancer progression and resistance to treatment.

Beer and science

Bad news for those of us that believe that a pint (some might say that a pint is only a promising start) after a long day’s work is only a nice way to chill out and recharge batteries for the next day (of more hard work?) According to a study, consumption of beer correlates with scientific productivity ... and not in the way that some of us would hope for. Moreover, the study comes from Czech scientists. The Czech republic is said to have the highest per capita consumption of beer in the world. So if Czech researchers say that beer is not good for scientists, they certainly have written this with a heavy heart.

Basically the research shows that publication success is correlated, in the fields of behavioural and evolutionary ecology in the Czech republic, and that this correlation happens even when the subject of research drank only a glass (and more so when they drink more than that). This correlation is negative so the more they drink the poorer the publication record.

I found this research mentioned in the NYT and one of the comments was (not entirely unexpected) that correlation is not causation and that beer drinking might not be responsible for poor academic success but probably the other way round: poor academic success leads researchers to drink more. I for one keep my fingers crossed that these people don’t start studying now the influence of red wine. Some times ignorance is bliss…

UPDATE: Apparently (and unsurprisingly) not everybody agrees with the methodology and conclusions of this paper.

More about drinks

Evolution and drug resistance