frivolous research

Why do academics do so much frivolous research?
Well, as The Times of London noted yesterday, (1) quixotic gov't and foundation funding, leading people to go where the money is; (2) changes in incentives within the scholarly profession itself, where being known and cited are more important than they used to be; and (3) companies paying dearly for research that will tout their products. The Times's selections of 2008's actual classics included proving that watching junk food ads on TV leads to eating more junk food and that children who lack confidence are more likely to grow up fat. [Ed.: Suggested rules of thumb for academia: (1) News of the Weird will cover any research that seriously attempts to prove something that the NOTW editor's mother already told him. (2) If your research is cited in NOTW, you should be automatically disqualified from research grants five years.] The Times
     Posted By: Chuck - Mon Dec 22, 2008

OMG! Horses can recognize each other????
Who would have ever guessed that?
Posted by AGFH on 12/22/08 at 09:26 AM
AGFH, I could have told you that! They also recognize people, water buckets, oat bins, hay bales, fence posts, fence line, trailers, and all kinds of stuff I bet no one ever did a study on.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 12/22/08 at 12:11 PM
Are you going to apply for a grant, Expat?

I'm thinking of doing a study on researchers. My hypothesis is that they have too much time on their hands, and that adding money to that situation will yield stupid, asinine, more-or-less useless results that any 12-year-old could have achieved.
Posted by kingmonkey in Athens, Ontario on 12/22/08 at 01:16 PM
Expat, are you serious?
And there I thought horses went through life thinking each and every object was brand new!
Posted by AGFH on 12/22/08 at 01:37 PM
No, I know for a fact that horses are pretty smart critters! In fact, we had one that could recognize a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes in my pocket and was smart enough to know how to get me to give her one. 😉
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 12/23/08 at 09:21 AM
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