Friday, April 18, 2008

Enhancing your Scientific Performance.

In a post from March [Was Moses a Dopehead?]
we learn of "scientist" Benny Shanon, (a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) who admitted to having taken the Amazonian hallucinogenic concoction ayahuasca hundreds of times.
So, it shouldn't have come as a surprise to me to learn that in a recent survey more than 60% of scientists admitted to using Ritalin and/or Provigil to enhance performance. The most popular drug was Ritalin, used by 62% of responders. Provigil was the drug of choice for 44% .
In another article it was reported that scientists who try to enhance their performance with beer didn't do so well. It appears that the more beer a scientist drinks, the less likely that scientist is to publish a paper or to have a paper cited by another researcher.
My favorite quote comes from Matthew Symonds, "an evolutionary biologist at the University of Melbourne who has also studied factors affecting scientific productivity,[who] called the results remarkable."
“It’s rather devastating to be told we should drink less beer in order to increase our scientific performance,” Dr. Symonds said.

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