9 Quirky Studies to Discuss at the Holiday Dinner Table

Is the 'Christmas spirit' localized in the brain?
Is the 'Christmas spirit' localized in the brain?

Constantly reading about the latest advances in medicine, we can't help but wonder what it would be like if the rigorous checks that are applied to scientific papers were applied to more frivolous subjects. That's where the BMJ comes in. Every holiday season they give the gift of silly science by publishing studies on the most quirky subjects in their Christmas Edition. This year's compilation doesn't disappoint.

Mustache > Women in Academic Medical Departments

Synopsis: Analyzing data from the top 50 NIH-funded medical schools in the U.S., researchers found that mustached medical leaders significantly outnumbered the total number of female counterparts. Women accounted for 13% of department leaders, while their mustached friends accounted for 19%. Only 6 out of 20 specialties had a mustache index greater than 1 (more women than mustaches); overall mustache index was 0.72 for all academic departments studied.

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Conclusion: The authors call for “known, effective, and evidence based policies to increase the number of women in leadership positions.” They also suggest—given the prevalence of the mighty mustache in leadership role—that every medical institution should strive for a mustache index of >1.

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