Apparently, the New York Times has a list of its most emailed articles, and researchers looking at the list have found something surprising (and wonderful) – that science-related articles are amongst the most emailed.
I know! One would have thought articles about politics, gossip, sex and diets would win outright but it would appear that NYT’s readers are somewhat more…sophisticated than this. Quite a bit, in fact.
Haivng controlled for factors such as placement, time of posting, amount of exposure received etc, 20% of articles that appeared on the home page made the list, but, and here’s the amazing bit, the rate rose to 30% for science articles!
And, even better, it’s not the miserable, or fluffy, science pieces that are most popular. The researchers found that people preferred to email positive pieces but, even more interestingly, they preferred ‘awe-inspiring’ pieces than light pieces.
And they hypothesize that, in most cases, this comes from a wish for emotional engagement.
Anyway, I won’t write anymore about it, as the NYT’s John Tierney has already written a lovely article on the subject.
But go science!