Thursday, September 28, 2006

One last post about hype

...and then I'll get back to science. The pending announcement of the Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry next week should provide some good fodder for discussion, as well as more arxiv stuff.

Anyway, there was an interesting article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal about the meaning of the word "breakthrough" and its overuse in technology company press releases. Take a look - it's interesting, and confirms what many of us already knew: far more incremental work is being sold as "breakthroughs" now than in the past. The same is true in science as well, though we don't do it to bump up the share price; we end up doing it because the cultural pressures to put out a press release with each publication are seemingly always increasing.

2 comments:

Alison Chaiken said...

Last week's _San Jose Mercury News_ had a page where adjacent headlines proclaimed, "Intel announces speed breakthrough" and "Intel begins ad blitz." Since it was early in the morning, I didn't have the stomach to read the breakthrough article.

HMS Home Warranty said...

The pending announcement of the Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry next week should provide some good fodder for discussion, as well as more arxiv stuff.