Chocolate easter eggs in a row

Education Blog

The Full Up, Writing Up research project: the nutritional conditions of academic writing suggest that scholars must chews new snacks

Researchers in the School of Education at the University of Strathclyde have found evidence for the existence of a negative correlation between chocolate consumption and the quality of academic writing.

The Full Up, Writing Up research study explored the diet of academics, their eating habits, favourite sweets, and the ways in which they conceptualised snacking. A Bourdieusian socio-cultural perspective on taste underpinned the study, which took shape as an in-depth, ethnogastric investigation of a small sample of education lecturers. Data were generated in creative and complementary ways in order to develop a rich empirical evidence base for what education academics actually eat on a day-to-day basis.

Results from the study suggest that as chocolate consumption increases so the quality of academic expression decreases. While the results of the study are both statistically and nutritionally significant, the correlation in question does not prove causality. It does nevertheless provide prima facie evidence that the two variables (chocolate and writing) might be related in some way.

The interpretation of this finding is that it provides support for the theory that the completion of academic work during April might be affected adversely by the eating of Easter eggs (although Nutella and deep fried Mars Bars also come strongly into the picture in the study).

These findings tell a powerful and pessimistic story about the lifestyles of academics. Specifically, what becomes clear is that the teeth of university-based educators might be in a perilous state. Given the realities of higher education in the post-colonic world, the investigators suggest that it will no longer be possible to defend the status quo, rather much more of a transformational approach is needed where all of those currently involved will have to rethink and reconfigure their snacks. Failure to do so will be to the detriment of the discipline itself and will in all likelihood have serious negative implications for higher education institutions more widely.

While the FuWu Project has shed some light onto this, there is still much to chew over. More work is needed that focuses upon the impact of confectionary on education and research. As the project leaders explain, “This is a marathon, not a Snickers.”


Image - Pixabay