I’m a cack-handed sinister southpaw and the chances are surprisingly high that you are too.
At University, about 40% of my peers studying Earth Sciences were left-handed. Faculty professors confirmed that this was normal, based on their experience of teaching geologists over the decades. This is of course an unusually high proportion. No, correction, this is an incredibly high proportion. A random selection of people would have around 10% of left-handers.
If Geologists are genuinely four times as likely to be left-handed then this is a remarkably strong pattern and someone should take a look into it. I emailed an academic psychologist of my acquaintance and he agreed that this merited more research. He seemed interested in talking more about how to make it happen.
So the first thing is, I need to improve the quality of my anecdotal evidence. My experience may be a statistical fluke, so I need your help. Are you a left-handed or right-handed geologist? In particular, if you teach geology to students, are they unusually prone to cack-handedness?
I reckon a mere minute of your time (“hands-up if you’re left-handed”) would provide me with some solid data, which I’ll collate and publish here. I’m thinking “x of y students from z were sinistrals”. Assuming a strong pattern holds I’ll then do my best to get some research happening. My current thinking is that this will involve match-making between someone involved in psychology research and others with access to geology students. I have various ideas of how to make this happen but would love to hear more.
I’m very excited about this, it’s the sort of thing that the Internet is for. A small amount of time from a lot of you could be the start of something rather good. Please comment away below. Or go to this simple form.
NB, I’ve collated the results of your replies; with more data, the pattern still holds.