Review of “Effects of High Dementor Density on Health Outcomes, Including Soul Loss, in Graduate Students”

In response to Maria’s latest post:

In their study “Effects of High Dementor Density on Health Outcomes, Including Soul Loss, in Graduate Students”, Sundaram et al. propose the intriguing hypothesis that dementor colonization may be responsible for the apathy and despair commonly associated with graduate studies. They measure both dementor-related environmental factors and health outcomes among a population of public health graduate students; observing a strong correlation between the two, the authors conclude that evidence exists for a causal relationship.

Sundaram et al. have identified a timely, important problem that inexplicably has not been addressed by other researchers in the field. This reviewer laments his own shortsightedness in this regard; I read the books, what, ten years ago? Despite a limited sample size, questionable ethical standards and shoddy statistical analyses, the study’s results are highly suggestive and deserve further investigation. It is unfortunate that the authors stopped short of an interventional study, given that cleaning the fucking microwave takes like five minutes, I mean really. I also would have liked to see some consideration given to other possible causes for student soullessness, including professors that ask for five data slides for their talk and then don’t use any of them; coworkers that use the last of the molecular weight standard and then don’t order any more; and mice that escape their cages, then get killed in mousetraps because the animal facility has a rodent problem.

Recommendation: accept with revisions.

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