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Nobel Prize Winners Live Longer

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the torturing-the-data dept.

News 144

anthemaniac writes "A new study finds those who won Nobel Prizes between 1901 and 1950 lived about 2 years longer than nominees who didn't win. The researchers conclude that the instantly conferred social status leads to health benefits. From the story: 'The research rules out the possibility that intervening prize-related money itself adds the years through improved prosperity.' If you're thinking of aiming for the prize, pick the right field. Nobel laureates in physics lived nearly a year longer than winners in chemistry."

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Physics? (1)

heauxmeaux (869966) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676464)

Eat my ass you fuckin assholes

Frost Pist! (-1, Offtopic)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676470)

and a long life!

They live longer (2, Interesting)

Who235 (959706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676484)

Except for the 1903 and 1911 winner.

Re:They live longer (2, Interesting)

maroberts (15852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678462)

Well, Pierre Curie got run over by a Carriage. Could've happened to anyone.

Marie Curie had only herself to blame; winning the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911 obviously cancelled out the beneficial effects of winning the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903.

Re:They live longer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17678706)

Marie Curie had only herself to blame; winning the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911 obviously cancelled out the beneficial effects of winning the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903.

Also, it certainly didn't help that for the heat they emit she often carried radioactive materials in her pocket, e.g. Polonium! (ok, dangers of radiation were not known at that time, and upto the 50s the top shoe stores had X-ray gadgets to see if a shoe fits.)

Three Words (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17676500)

Correlation, causation, etcetera.

Count again (1, Offtopic)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678284)

Correlation, causation, etcetera.
Et cetera [wiktionary.org] are two words.

Another reason I hate science "reporting" (5, Insightful)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676504)

It really bugs me when they post these things as if they are fact, and then give no indication whatsoever about how accurate the results are. You're talking about 135 winners out of 524 nominees - not exactly a huge sample size. Is it that hard to put in a few extra characters telling you what the error bars are? Something as simple as "the researchers found that nobel winners live 2 (+/- 0.5) years on average" would do, as would a sentence saying "the standard deviation was 0.5". How are we supposed to make any judgement about the validity of the study if we don't at least have the tiniest insight into the statsitics?

Re:Another reason I hate science "reporting" (5, Informative)

gvc (167165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676660)

After some effort, I found the actual article. The popular press account was bad, even for the popular press, failing to give the title of the paper and giving the author's name only parenthetically.

In any event, here is the article: http://ideas.repec.org/p/wrk/warwec/785.html [repec.org]

The article contains at least one claim to "significance at the 5% level" but as far as I can see it is a working paper, not (yet) published in a refereed venue. The author appears to have other credible publications relating to the effect of windfalls on people.

Re:Another reason I hate science "reporting" (2, Interesting)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677286)

I'd guess that it's around the border of statistical significance.

  The standard deviation in the life expectancy of the general population is about 10 years (meaning - 2/3 people die between 67 and 87), although IIRC it's got a lot of skew.

  Anyway, the smaller of the two samples is 135 people, so the error in the estimate of that mean is roughly 10 / sqrt(134) ~= 10/12, so two sigma is about 20 months, and the life expectancy difference is 24 months, so it's significant to 5%.

  Well, okay, you can't be "more" or "less" significant (something is either significant, to any particular threshold, or it isn't), but is this the only hypothesis he tested on this data? How many data sets of similar size did he comb through? And why only physics and chemistry?

  OTOH, if extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, it stands to reason that ordinary claims should be able to phone it in on paltry evidence like that, so I'm willing to believe that the winners lived longer.

So it's not significant after all? :P (4, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678016)

The standard deviation in the life expectancy of the general population is about 10 years (meaning - 2/3 people die between 67 and 87), although IIRC it's got a lot of skew.

Anyway, the smaller of the two samples is 135 people, so the error in the estimate of that mean is roughly 10 / sqrt(134) ~= 10/12, so two sigma is about 20 months, and the life expectancy difference is 24 months, so it's significant to 5%.


Well, then you've really made the point as to why the article is bogus, eh? Yes, they make a "nearly two years" claim at the top, but if you read a bit further: "The average lifespan for the nominees (including winners) was 76 years. Winners worldwide lived 1.4 years longer on average, and winners from the same country as non-winning nominees lived another two-thirds of a year, on average."

So lemme see. If you take the whole sample, the difference was 1.4 years, or 1.4 * 12 = 16.8 months. I'm still not done with the morning coffee, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but 16.8 months is a bit lower than the 20 months you've calculated for two sigma.

I find it more interesting when they restrict it to winners from the same country, since, well, only then it's really apples to apples. (You'd expect that someone from the USA would live longer than someone from, say, India. Doubly so when there's data from the early 1900's.) Then it's only 2/3 of a year, or 8 months difference. Quite a bit lower than 20 months, I would say. Plus, it's inherently a lot of smaller samples, so even the 20 months figure would become larger.

More importantly, that difference between "winners vs nominees everywhere" and "winners vs nominees from the same country" tells me that the first one might not be entirely unbiased as samples go. If, say, more winners come from the top industrialized nations with high standards of living, while the larger nominees sample include more people from some poorer countries too, that alone could account for the the 8.8 months difference in the two figures.

I haven't properly studied the names and countries of origin for everyone, but for physics and chemistry it sounds at least like a _believable_ kind of bias: you don't see third world countries building big cyclotrons (for advanced physics research) or having advanced big pharma companies (for advanced chemistry research.) Something like, say, the prize for literature might have been a less biased sample: you don't need lab equipment and funding in the billions to write a book. And if the only cause there is that winning a prize and resulting alpha-monkey status instantly gives you some extra months, then the effect should be the same there too.

This gets funnier when you add this quote into the mix: "Oswald and Rablen found that Nobel laureates in physics lived an average of almost a year longer than laureates in chemistry."

Err... wait a minute. Let's do some maths there, then. Assuming there have been roughly as many winners in physics and chemistry, to keep the average, then the 16.8 months figure becomes something like 22.8 months for physics and 10.8 months for chemistry. It may look like now the physics number is finally signifficant, but it also means half the sample, so sigma is 120 months / sqrt(67) ~= 120 / 8 = 15 months, so two sigma is 30 months. Hmm, now even the figure for physicists is still less significant, and the figure for chemists is outright useless.

Let's apply that piece of wisdom for the "winners vs nominees from the same country", since, again, that's really the only one which doesn't have a built-in bias. To keep the 8 month average and assuming again equal numbers from the same country it becomes 14 months for the physicists and 2 months for the chemists. Frankly, living 2 months longer as a chemistry winner already starts to sound thoroughly insignifficant. But probably that 1 year difference doesn't apply here too, or is proportioanlly reduced too, so let's ignore this.

Was there some other difference between chemists and physicists that we don't know? The bias that chemists have other health hazards is true, but it should apply equally to nominees and winners. So if the social status boost was the only difference, why doesn't it produce the same effect in chemists as in physicists? Or maybe all this shows is another bias of the sample? Could it be that simply the bias towards rich countries with high standards of living isn't as strong in chemistry as in physics? Or is it just a fluke due to the small sample? Hmm...

Finally, what really worries me about this, and that is: presenting correlation as causation. They didn't prove that winning a nobel prize is the _cause_ of living longer, they just showed a correlation. It could be that some third cause actually produces both. E.g., there may be a difference in the standard of living to start with. E.g., there may be just that someone who works obsessively in a clean lab, is both more likely to win a Nobel prize and less likely to be outside and get a disease or be run over by a truck.

Re:Another reason I hate science "reporting" (1)

commisaro (1007549) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676698)

Yeah, I was wondering how statistically significant this even is. I think reporters should be made to give links to the actual study so that people can investigate the underlying numbers.

Re:Another reason I hate science "reporting" (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676706)

If you RTFA you find this: "Winners worldwide lived 1.4 years longer on average, and winners from the same country as non-winning nominees lived another two-thirds of a year, on average." Of course with no standard deviations or confidence intervals published we don't know IF 1.4 or 2/3 is really good or just so-so and how that lifetime compares to the population in general.

The REAL trick is to win an Oscar, you live 3.6 yrs longer than the nominees that didn't win. Now considering to get to the point you are considered for an Oscar you got be a pretty decent movie star and already by reaping the benefits from the mega-$$$ So I conclude that NOT winning an Oscar crushed the nominees so bad they died SOONER from the emotional trauma!!

Re:Another reason I hate science "reporting" (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676730)

We all know they live longer so they can spend more time gloating and the rest of the oldies just die because they run out if things to do.

Re:Another reason I hate science "reporting" (4, Funny)

Perseid (660451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676850)

Yeah, but you see this study might get them the nobel prize. Then they can live longer. Thus the great cycle is complete. If we can get everyone to write articles on how nobel winners live longer we can all win the prize and everyone can live forever.

Re:Another reason I hate science "reporting" (4, Funny)

vikramrn (832734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677622)

Research has proven that people who celebrate the highest number of birthdays live the longest.

Re:Another reason I hate science "reporting" (1)

Jack Action (761544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677812)

Alternately, we can nominate everyone; then give it to no one. Everyone dies.

Alfred Nobel invented dynamite, didn't he? Hmmm.

Re:Another reason I hate science "reporting" (2, Funny)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677120)

That really means that if you try too hard and don't get the Nobel you lose 2 years of your like.
It's literally killing your self. Therefore, relax and stop thinking about getting a Nobel.

I don't think it worth trying to get one because: not only you'll probably don't get it, but you'll be condemned to die sooner than the #@!%!$ who took it from you!.

Re:Another reason I hate science "reporting" (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677146)

For reasonably accurate results, they probably should get a few more years worth of data. Say about 50,000 oughta do it.

Re:Another reason I hate science "reporting" (1)

nkv (604544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677150)

Are these people jobless or something? What's the point of conducting a "study" to figure out the health benefits of winning a Nobel prize? Am I the only one who sees this as a mostly wasted effort?

Re:Another reason I hate science "reporting" (1)

Viceroy Potatohead (954845) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677226)

Jeez, relax, man. Here, have a nobel prize. Happy now, you long lived sonuvabi---

samples (2, Insightful)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676512)

Nobel winners - that's a MASSIVE sample size, eh? Especially when comparing against the general population. This sounds NOT like cheesy made-for-CNN sensationalism.

Re:samples (1)

Nutty_Irishman (729030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676812)

The sample size is of the Nobel prize nominees that did not win and those that did win-- not against the general population. The question they are asking is: Is there a significant difference in lifespan between the 135 individuals who received a Nobel prize and the 389 nominees (assuming winners were also the nominees) that did not. I don't see anything wrong with that population size for the questions that they are asking.

obviously (4, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676514)

If you're thinking of aiming for the prize, pick the right field. Nobel laureates in physics lived nearly a year longer than winners in chemistry.

No doubt because they were in better physic-al condition.

Re:obviously (4, Funny)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676858)

So much for better living through chemistry.

Re:obviously (4, Funny)

McFadden (809368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676922)

According to a recent study, the jokes in the parent and grandparent post can take at least two years off your life.

Re:obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17676968)

Maybe they were done in by poor observance of safety precautions. An o-chem lab TA tried to scare his charges into being safe by saying "Chemists don't die younger, just stranger; odd cancers no one else gets."

oh.... nice (2, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676518)

guess I'll live a couple years longer than the rest of you

Re:oh.... nice (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677160)

I'm not interested in one, that takes me out of the study and consequently I'll live anonymously much longer than you.

Long live to longevity!

--
I didn't post anonymously because I'm sure in your infinite pride for your price, you won't even remember my name.

Chemists poison and burn themselves (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676532)

There are old chemists and bold chemists. There are no old bold chemists.

A bit of heavy metal here, a bit there, a perchloric acid spill, a falling piece of glassware, a leaky gas jet...

Physics (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676554)

They don't die like the chemists do. They only go blind, usually blaming it on the laser.

It's all your fault. (1, Funny)

AWhiteFlame (928642) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676536)

If you don't mod me up, I'll die earlier. Modding Down = Murder. Please, think of others. Mod up. A public service announcement.

Alternately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17676546)

not winning the prize caused the losers to die early. Therefore, it would be best not to try for the prize unless you are certain you can win or don't mind dying a few years sooner. Is there any evidence that either group lived longer or shorter lives than the common man? No? Wow, more sensational pop-culture crap on slashdot being passed off as science? Nooooo. It's unpossible.

Living longer... (1)

thedarknite (1031380) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676560)

But how did this average age of the Nobel winners compare to the average life expectancy of the general population? That something I didn't see in TFA.

bad (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17676604)

*whacks CowboyNeal with a rolled up newspaper*

NO.

Mod parent insightful (1)

wannabgeek (323414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677276)

I'd have modded you insightful if I had some mod points. I don't know why this article was deemed fit to be posted on /. - May be there should be a 'Trivia' or 'Tabloid' section here and these articles can be lined up for that section.

I'm gonna live forever... (4, Funny)

gillbates (106458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676640)

  • Workout 3 to 5 times a week - check.
  • Eat a high fiber, low cholesterol diet - check.
  • Stopped smoking - check.
  • Started drinking two drinks a night - check* [wikipedia.org] .
  • Win the Nobel prize - er, umm...

Of course (4, Insightful)

YGingras (605709) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676670)

They are already old when they win and the ones who dies young can't win. Noble stated that no dead person could win the Nobel Prize. Many often object that Rosalind Franklin [wikipedia.org] the Prize with Watson and Crick but the fact is that she was already dead and Nobel Prize didn't have the power to name her even if they believed that she was deserving.

Re:Of course (1)

YGingras (605709) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676684)

that Rosalind Franklin the Prize with Watson and Crick
Of course that should read "that Rosalind Franklin should have won the Prize with Watson and Crick"

Re:Of course (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676980)

They are already old when they win and the ones who dies young can't win. Noble stated that no dead person could win the Nobel Prize.

An interesting idea, but I'm pretty sure you have to be alive to be nominated, too.

Re:Of course (1)

cnettel (836611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677860)

Yeah, but it means that you might need to consider how many times the winners were nominated before winning the prize, and verify whether that makes the group stand out from the non-winners, i.e. some individuals that were nominated probably didn't get the prize simply because they happened to die, even though they, in retrospect, were just as worthy. Staying alive increases your chance of being nominated multiple times and getting the recognition needed to get the prize.

Re:Of course (1)

abergou (674497) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677188)

Mod parent up - if you take the life expectancy of Nobel prize winners then you are doing a form of post selection.

Re:Of course (1)

wannabgeek (323414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678094)

Noble stated that no dead person could win the Nobel Prize.

Any reference for that? I don't know of any such restriction, because I am very much interested in the debate about why Mahatma Gandhi did not win Nobel prize and have heard of a lot of excuses (I am biased, I call them excuses) - one of them for the year 1948 and how the committee did not want to give it to Gandhi because he was dead and there was no precedent of awarding a Nobel prize posthumously. There was never a mention of Nobel stating that no dead person could win the prize.

Solution (1)

pickyouupatnine (901260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676740)

Is the study trying to make some sort of a general conclusion that winners live longer than losers? .. because if all they're trying to conclude is whats stated in the headline, then I think the old adage applies: ... nothing to see here.. move right along.

nominees, huh? (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676776)

Winners live slightly longer than nominees? Well..seeing as anyone can be nominated, this proves exactly nothing.

I'll bet Tookie Williams [wikipedia.org] skewed the sample a little bit.

gimme the prize... (1)

stilders (223334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676794)

there will come the time of the gathering, when those who remain will fight for the prize... there can be only one!

no? not that prize?

you Fail I7! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17676798)

poor Priorit1es, [goat.cx]

Junk Science about Junk Science (5, Interesting)

haakondahl (893488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676836)

What this scant research has found is a correlation between Nobel winners and longer life. What it has NOT proven is a causal relationship. The weak-kneed nonsense about "social benefits conferred" is a presumed conclusion laid on top of some research which may or may not support it.

This is a better conclusion: People who tend to win also tend to live longer, due to a separate causal factor.

Now gimme my Nobel Prize. I just corrected a bunch of Junk Scientists.

Re:Junk Science about Junk Science (1)

Nutty_Irishman (729030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677072)

Not that I blame you (as if you did read the article, it is rather vague), but if you look up the paper they are trying to address the causal relationships and not a simple correlation.

From: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/resear ch/papers/twerp_785.pdf [warwick.ac.uk] (Emphasis added)

After controlling for other factors -- most significantly the possibility of reverse causation from longevity to winning a Nobel Prize -- the paper's best estimate is that winners live approximately two years longer than do nominees. Tests amongst the winners reveal no relationship between the real value of the Prize and longevity. Status, rather than money, appears to be responsible for our effect.

Re:Junk Science about Junk Science (1)

haakondahl (893488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677524)

How did they control for so-called "reverse" causation? Off the top of my head, I would limit the sample set to those who won the prize before a cut-off age, which might be the youngest age of death of any nominee. Not sure about that, but that's where I would start.

NONE OF WHICH ADDRESSES the issue of non-causality--that these are both effects of some other cause. What they have identified is a small syndrome (a collection of symptoms or behaviors), but because there are only two elements, they leap to say that one element causes the other simply by controlling against the opposite case.

I am not arguing that there is no causal relationship. What I am arguing is that they seem not to have considered that perhaps they have not found the cause. All they are saying is that they have found a correlation, and that they have failed to find some causal relationships. This does not constitute finding a different causal relationship.

That's all I'm saying.

Secret of Immortality (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17676852)

So the Secret of Immortality is to win a Nobel Prize every other year.

-- Prof. Jonathan Vos Post

Re:Secret of Immortality (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676890)

To quote (I think it was Steven Wright)...

I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.

I'll bet... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676876)

I'll bet that the Nobel prize winners for statistics live longest of all.

AWESOME FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17676936)

hand...do8't operating systems,

They might be onto something (1)

Gerocrack (979018) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676942)

I work with a Nobel Laureate, and I was shocked to learn he is 70; I have been thinking was in his early 60's for years.

That's what I've been missing (1)

jimmyswimmy (749153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676970)

Guess I'll have to go out and win the Nobel prize. Since there's a lot I can do about that. That's some top-notch research, very applicable to my life.

so many things wrong (2, Interesting)

dheera (1003686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677026)

there are so many things wrong with such an analysis. the fact that Nobel prize winners live longer is a correlation, not a cause-and-effect relationship.

You can't immediately blame it on social status. For all we know, it could be because they're being shuttled around the world giving lectures everywhere, such that they get better exercise; it could be that they're being given more money and have a more relaxed personal life to eat better; it could be a lot of other things.

2 years you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17677062)

90 years old = no memory, need help pooping, can barely walk, sleeps 90% of the day, sick from something, no social life.

92 years old = no memory, need help pooping, can barely walk, sleeps 90% of the day, sick from something, no social life.

Narrow Sample Set? (2, Insightful)

Bonker (243350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677088)

Nobel Prize Nominees as the control, and Nobel Prize Winners as the sample?

Gee criminey... It's like using tweezers to pick up sand grains on the far shore of the bell curve to see how sandy they are.

FTFA:
An analysis of 524 nominees for the Nobels in physics and in chemistry between 1901 and 1950 showed that the group's 135 winners lived about two years longer than the also-rans. The finding points to the health benefits of social status and suggests that status benefits the bodies of the cerebrally normal too.


A single car crash could have skewed your margins on that.

Re:Narrow Sample Set? (0)

esrobinson (1028500) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677392)

They need to do a better study. Just give half the group real Nobel prizes and the other half placebo Nobels. Then wait for them all to die. Should be simple enough.

its needed. (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677098)

I for one welcome our new peace prize winning immortal overlords.

Two years for one years work. (0)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677118)

So if some super scientist comes along and gives us spectacular work every year so he gets nobel prizes every year, then wouldn't he be able to live forever?

Physics vs Chemistry (1)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677138)

I bet that [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Rutherfor d]Rutherford[/url] would have been even more annoyed about winning the Chemistry price if he saw this 'research'

Re:Physics vs Chemistry (1)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677154)

And I wish I could remember that Slashdot does not support bbcode. :(

Pirate Disco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17677142)

Over the last 200 years there has been a significant decreases in the number of (sea) pirates to almost non-existence. Global temperatures have risen by half a degree. Thusly the global decline in pirates has lead to global warming.

"At the end of 1979 disco was at an all time high. If this trend continues... EEEYYYHHH" - Disco "i dont advertise" Stu

A
B
Therefore A->B

New health recommendations are out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17677152)

And you thought exercising regularly was tough!

Futurama proof (0)

ChameleonDave (1041178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677172)

Well I think this is adequate scientific proof. I mean, the Professor from Futurama is hundreds of years old, and he won the Nobel prize for turning Bender into a human, didn't he?

Seems like a concrete case.

Re:Futurama proof (1)

rootEToTheIPi (937469) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677294)

No, Professor Farnsworth is about 160 years old and the invention you refer to was a machination of the "What If" machine, not an actual invention.

I cannot accept this prize... (1)

Snufu (1049644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677182)

Does this mean winners of the Ig Nobel Prize http://www.improb.com/ig/ [improb.com] on average die two years earlier?

Bill Sharpe (3, Interesting)

Mean Variance (913229) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677214)

I work for a company founded by Bill Sharpe (NP in Economics shared with Markowitz). Obviously an empirical observation, but the guy is in his early 70's and is still actively involved with research with the company and just did a private book signing for the employees.

I think it goes with that theory of the brain's "use it or lose it" feature. I bet you live a little longer when you feel you have a reason to get up in the morning and do something. This guy does.

Does it matter? (0)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677220)

Even if this study is statistically accurate, would it matter? How is this information useful/applicable?

It's not like someone who's got a couple months to live will magically survive for two years longer by receiving the Nobel prize.

Next thing you know, they'll be reporting that millionaires who win the lottery end up being richer than those millionaires who don't win the lottery. At the end of the day, neither finding can be used to fix any social problems.

- RG>

Intelligence Correlates With Many Things (1)

bazald (886779) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677224)

Come on. Why is this news? Intelligence correlates with many behaviors that increase longevity, including eating right and exercising more. I hope (at least) that they expected this to be the case in their hypothesis...

Hmm... (1)

CHatRPI (627527) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677268)

I wonder if the researchers will win a Nobel Prize for this discovery...

Winners Vs Whiners (2, Funny)

TheCybernator (996224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677394)

So whiners don't live longer than winners. Whats new in that?

More Correlation Equals Causation B.S (0)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677430)

Perhaps Nobel prize winners had higher intelligence and thus had more brain cells to waste before they went senile?

for the next study (5, Funny)

bitt3n (941736) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677440)

I bet they'll find the results much more striking if they investigate recipients of the Darwin award.

What about the Aussie Nobel Winner? (1)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677546)

Two Aussies won the Nobel for Medicine by proving that stomach ulcers are caused bacteria rather than 'stress' as used to be beleived. They proved it when one of them, on the spur of the moment, drank a vat containing the bacteria. He said he felt very sick afterwards, and he also he survived the bacteria it was his wife who nearly killed him! :-)

BTW although his is now accepted, at the time they were ridiculed by other scientists who though the idea preposterous. Got to be inpependent thinkers, Slashdotters. ("Yes! We're all individuals!" "No, I mean you are all different" "Yes, we're all different!")

Re:What about the Aussie Nobel Winner? (1)

Fist! Of! Death! (1038822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678288)

I bet that crazy fool brought down the median lifespan.

Re:What about the Aussie Nobel Winner? (1)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678580)

> I bet that crazy fool brought down the median lifespan.

I saw a show on these guys going to the Nobel ceremony. They're actually very funny.

Here's the whacky guy:
http://www.cockeyed.com/citizen/marshall/intro.sht ml [cockeyed.com]

And his research partner. His partner is smarter because (1) he let Barry be the guinea pig, and (2) he hates people who star in informercials.
http://www.vianet.net.au/~jrwarren/ [vianet.net.au]

Here's a good piece about their research and the scientific community's sledging:

http://www.csicop.org/si/2004-11/bacteria.html [csicop.org]

Re:What about the Aussie Nobel Winner? (1)

Fist! Of! Death! (1038822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678606)

Hell - medium-term exposure to Robin Warren's homepage background art could give you an ulcer!

Btw, I think I inadvertently copied their experimental technique over Christmas when I polished off a large Stilton...

Or... (1)

sam991 (995040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677582)

Maybe, just maybe it has something to do with the million dollars.

They may live longer... (1)

archmagusrm (744773) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677638)

Dr. Leon Lederman [wikipedia.org] may be living longer, but he is quite out of it. He tends fall asleep at most everything, be it a lecture by a physicist he invited, or a lecture he's giving himself. Perhaps he's always been that way. What do I know? I don't have a Nobel prize.

Well, that explains Gordon Freeman... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17677738)

"Hey gordon! You haven't aged a day! What's your secret?"

To make everyone live longer (1)

v4vijayakumar (925568) | more than 7 years ago | (#17677958)

Give nobel prize to _everyone_. If you think, it is not cost effective, revise nobel prize monetary reward, such that it would cost nothing to do so. Everyone wins.

ig nobel (1)

zoefff (61970) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678246)

two things:
-This study is a candidate for an ig Nobel prize
-What will be the effect if they win? positive or negative?

Re:ig nobel (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678480)

Three things:
Do ig Nobel prize winners live longer than Nobel prize winners?

Retroactive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17678248)

Do the extra two years apply to those who receive the prize posthumously as well?

Research? (1)

Fist! Of! Death! (1038822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678264)

Yet another notch on the bedpost of wasted time labelled as research. Besides the fact that a 2-year old with a basic spreadsheet and the appropriate data could reach the same conclusions, I humbly propose that nobody really cares.

Finally... (1)

butterberg (1046750) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678324)

Cool! Finally we have some real "scientific" method to enlarge people's life. Well, at least some people's life...

Reminds me of the nervous air passenger (3, Funny)

glomph (2644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678522)

All these bogus statistics items remind me of the story of the nerd who (for his own security) always would sneak a bomb on the plane, because of the obvious logic- "What's the probability of TWO independent bombs on the same plane?"

Prize winners are usually old (1)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678538)

I think it could be because Nobel Prize winners are usually quite old. Many people are nominated for years before they are selected. I guess nominees are younger on average. Thus the winners have already survived more years, and are likely to live longer.

On a side note, Nobel Prize nomination means very little. It only requires a nomination from any of the large number of people allowed to nominate.

This does not show causality, unfortunately (1)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678572)

This does not necessarily signify what the author thinks it does. Being of better health - that is, smarter, taller, etc - will influence socioeconomic status (this is as far as I know generally known, I'll dig up references if necessary), and there is no reason to think that this won't also influence the chance of winning the Nobel prize rather than being nominated for it. It will also influence the average lifespan.

Research in these particular areas are extremely hard; evolution has mixed together being smart, being healthy, and being socially dominant/socially attractive. Our subconscious automatically slightly prefer people that are healthy for everything positive (winning a Nobel prize), and that are unhealthy for everything negative (e.g, being judged as criminals). This mostly shows up in statistically sized samples, not evaluation of a single person.

Eivind.

New medical procedure (1)

gungh0 (1005895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678626)

I just hope doctors are going to take this on board. You can just see them now, patient is on the operating table & slipping away. Out goes the cry "NURSE ! Get a Nobel prize in here".

In other news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17678630)

In other news, people named CowboyNeal did NOT live too long because of constant knocking on the head by Slashdot readers.

NO..only when they live longer they get Nobel (1)

ojaskumar (844091) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678770)

Well..Nobel is not awarded posthumously..is it?. Then only those who live longer get the Nobel!!!

Two words about why this research depresses me: (1)

netbuzz (955038) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678884)

Henry Kissinger.

Reduced Stress. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678916)

While a lot of these people who win the Nobel Prize sound humbled and surprised. My guess is that a lot of them focused their life work towards getting the Nobel Prize, at least when they realize that they are on to something big. With heavy competition and arguing with the other who are trying to get the prize. So after they win there stress levels will drop because they are no longer competing for the prize and if someone argues with them they can just go well how many Nobel Prizes do you have?... Right.... Now back to my idea.

a story this dumb on slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17678948)

a story this dumb on slashdot?

Remember... (1)

xufos (871862) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678970)

Marie Curie?
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