This was a guest post by Gwendolyn Nix.
In a recent article, FierceRoller tackled the notorious Golden Fleece Awards and the Wastebook, two award projects created and given by United States Senators decrying research proposals they deem silly and wasteful.
Naturally, as scientists, we nurse a certain outrage towards those without scientific training (or the determination to fully read a scientific paper) who assert that certain studies are worthless. I don’t go around the House of Representatives telling the Speaker of the House how to do his job. I wouldn’t even go to MacDonald’s and tell the fry cook that I could make better fries without the gumption prove it. Because I am excited to put my money where my mouth is, I’m going to analyze the Golden Fleece Award given to Robert E. Kraut and Robert E. Johnston on their study of why bowlers smile.