Can country music drive you to suicide?
- By: Jeanne Lenzer
The Ig Nobel award for medicine--one of the prizes given annually to scientists who have produced unusual research--was given this year to a team of researchers who had found that cities in which radio stations played a higher than average amount of country music had higher than average suicide rates.
The award went to Steven Stack of Wayne State University, Michigan, and James Gundlach of Auburn University, Alabama, for their report, The Effect of Country Music on Suicide. Dr Stack protested to the BMJ that it was unfair of Newsweek to call him and his colleague “academic coneheads.”
“We had hard data showing that cities with higher than average country music radio market share had higher white suicide rates,” he said. African-American suicide rates, he explained, were not affected by the country music market (Social Forces 1992;71:211-8).
Odd science, from the peculiar to the bizarre, was centre stage at the