QOTD: On Bias, Correlation and Objectivity

I love the way this unfolds:

Someone did a study — I have no idea if its serious or not —  that suggested eating more chocolate improves a nation’s chances of producing Nobel Prize winners.

One of the Nobel prize winners responded with the appropriate amount of snark:

“Eric Cornell, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001, told Reuters: “I attribute essentially all my success to the very large amount of chocolate that I consume. Personally I feel that milk chocolate makes you stupid… dark chocolate is the way to go. It’s one thing if you want a medicine or chemistry Nobel Prize but if you want a physics Nobel Prize it pretty much has got to be dark chocolate.”

But when [we] contacted him to elaborate on this comment, he changed his tune.

I deeply regret the rash remarks I made to the media. We scientists should strive to maintain objective neutrality and refrain from declaring our affiliation either with milk chocolate or with dark chocolate,” he said.

Now I ask that the media kindly respect my family’s privacy in this difficult time.”

That is hilarious!

The only trouble with sarcasm is how many people seem to miss it . . .



Does chocolate make you clever?
Charlotte Pritchard BBC News
BBC, 19 November 2012

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