Suggestions for the Drunken Alcohol Researchers

drunkgamblerThe Washington Times published an article outlining the commitment at the National Institute of Health to researching alcohol-related issues. My favorite alcohol-related study funded by the NIA is one in which Yale University and Arizona State University were given $154,688 to determine if drinking excess amounts of alcohol leads to losing more money while gambling.

Heck, I could have confirmed the answer to this question was “yes”, and would have only charged them $100,000.

But what’s clear from reading the Times article is that the NIH has only just scratched the surface of the kind of alcohol-related research that is needed in order to understand the various effects of alcohol consumption. So, in the spirit of giving back to my country, I’ll outline a few needed studies….no charge.

1. Does consumption of alcohol help golfers hit the ball straighter?
How many shots of tequila does a seven handicap golfer need to take before consistently hitting the ball straighter off the tee? Is there a different outcome when shooting Scotch?

2. Can wine bloggers write more incisively when drinking beer?
It’s well-known that it takes a lot of beer to make great wine. But does it equally require lots of beer to make a great wine blog? Clearly a longitudinal study is necessary to answer this burning question.

3. Does excessive alcohol consumption of “natural wine” make “natural wine” appear to taste better
Because of the inherent dangers connected with this study, mice and monkeys ought to be used in the study.

4. Does one’s faith in government increase or decrease with excessive alcohol consumption?
This study has obvious implications for altering election day behavior by voters.

5. To what degree does excessive alcohol consumption influence where the NIH will spend money?
I believe the data necessary for this particular study is already in evidence.

3 Responses

  1. Miki Finnin "This is the Life" Winer - September 13, 2014

    Here, Here!

  2. Blake Gray - September 13, 2014

    Sorry, Tom, but I have to disagree with this easy mockery. The amounts of money being offered to research scientists on alcohol issues in a year are what we spend in what, 1 hour in Afghanistan?

    Also, I ask you to consider whether you want to align yourself politically with the kind of politician who nitpicks funding individual scientific studies, especially ones that are so cheap. One study mocked in the article cost $84,000. That’s less than the cost of one soldier’s deployment for, what, three months, when you consider equipment and transportation?

    I also can make a case for the alcohol/gambling study, which cost $154,000, about the cost of one military vehicle.

    I’d like to know, specifically, the ways in which alcohol affects gambling behavior. It would have implications for casino licensing, for example. And beyond that, it’s just possible that if a study were published showing gamblers lose 20% more money when drunk, perhaps some middle class families of gamblers would have better lives.

    But go ahead and take the easy, cheap shot. Just don’t complain when that same politician turns around and questions money spent to research Pierce’s disease.

  3. Weekend reads: Reading Nature and Science “very unpleasant,” how to spot fake journals | Retraction Watch - September 20, 2014

    […] “To what degree does excessive alcohol consumption influence where the NIH will spend money?” Wine blogger Tom Wark imagines new research projects. […]

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