[Via Buried Treasure]
I guess most people have a feeling that life used to be simpler in the past. The other day it occurred to me that we researchers very often talk about how advanced our methods are, although simple methods are in many cases preferable.
So this morning I resorted to my usual strategy for analyzing such things, namely counting in Medline. More specifically I calculated for each year the percentage of publication titles that contain the words “simple” and “advanced”, respectively. In the plot below, the dots show the values for each year and the lines show five-year running averages thereof (click for PDF version):
As can be clearly seen, life as a researcher was indeed simpler in the 50s and 60s.
Scientific proof that things used to be simple. Interesting that the sharp increase in the use advanced happened in the late 70s. wonder why?