« | Home | »

It may be new, but is it true?

‘According to a new study’ and ‘new research shows’ are two enormously popular and attention-grabbing phrases, according to fresh and fairly light research of my own. They are used, typically, in newspapers, blogs, and on television to bring out the seriousness of what is to follow. For example, according to Richard Dawkins’s website:

New research shows water present across the moon’s surface – It turns out the moon is a lot wetter than we ever thought.

We must remember our umbrellas.

Or, in the Guardian:

Piracy may be the bane of the music industry but according to a new study, it may also be its engine. A report from the BI Norwegian School of Management has found that those who download music illegally are also 10 times more likely to pay for songs than those who don’t.

So property really does begin with theft.

The newness of the research makes it newsworthy (obviously) but also makes it sound more truthful. And yet most research is more often work in progress than anything more definitive – except for reports cited in, say, the pages of the National Enquirer, which more than decade ago said that according to new research the Hubble Telescope had discovered Heaven.

Comments on “It may be new, but is it true?”

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.

  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • streetsj on The Horrors of Heathrow: I remember reading the Gilmour piece when it came out. There seem to have been so many opportunities in the past 70 years to resite London's main airp...
    • Graucho on Gaitskell and Europe: One of the few occasions when Le Grand Charles did us a favour. Shame he wasn't around when Edward Heath rolled over on his back and waved his legs in...
    • Alan Benfield on Gaitskell and Europe: I can see no reason why anybody would accuse Hugh Gaitskell of being a "fascistic, xenophobic and racist Little Englander": the issues he was concerne...
    • Sock on Gaitskell and Europe: Fascinating. Might have been instructive for this kind of information to have been aired prior to the referendum, and perhaps even more so now. Shallo...
    • jayavarman on How to Rig an Election: Before US election day 2000, Jeb Bush's Florida government disenfranchised a large number of voters in primarily Democratic districts, though it still...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement Advertisement