Page to scientists – get marketing, PhDudes!

Google Founder Larry Page spoke to the American Scientists Friday and encouraged them to market science projects better and also to look for solutions to pressing problems.    Good advice indeed.    I’m frustrated to see so much of the innovation and brainpower of American science go to the study of obscure or abstract things when it would be put to better use solving the pressing problems of out time like global health, infrastructure improvements, etc, etc.

Come on PhDz, let’s move those intellects into practical problem solving gear!

Mardis Gras a billion dollar tourism event? I’m skeptical.

CNN just reported that New Orleans’ Mardis Gras can bring a billion dollars in economic benefits to New Orleans, though they implied it would be less this year with “only” 700,000 visitors to Mardis Gras this year.

I’m initially very skeptical of both these numbers. I was in New Orleans a few years ago and it sure didn’t look to me like the French Quarter could sustain anything approaching that number of people.

I’ll check up but I’m guessing this is a bogus statistic based on unreasonably large multipliers. It’s a common trick in tourism metrics used to justify budgets and ad campaign results, and greatly confuses analysis of the tourism situation in various regions.

Let’s run some fuzzy math here: The main thing at Mardis Gras is drinking. Let’s assume drinks reflect half the economic impact of the event and cost an average of $5 per drink. That would suggest that during Mardis Gras 1 million people drink …. 100 drinks each!?


New Orleans CVB Economic Development report says 300 million impact of Mardis Gras, 5.5 Billion Annually from 10.1 million tourists. This is less than a third what was quoted by CNN for Mardis Gras, but still is a pretty unbelievable $545 per *person* per visit so I’d like to see where they are getting these numbers.