Oxford University Press Launch Matter of Fact Report :: NEWS
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Oxford University Press Launch Matter of Fact Report

01 July 2022 Share

Report draws on global insights to explore fact-finding in today’s world

We live in an age of information overload. Billions of bytes of data are created every second, as we rapidly disseminate news stories, update our social media feeds, publish new books or academic research, and share images and videos of events happening in every corner of the globe. But how do we know what information to trust and where should we go to find the truth?

Oxford University Press (OUP) have launched the Matter of Fact report, a report that draws on global insights to explore fact-finding in today’s world.

Philosophers and theologians have contended with questions such as, how can we tell which sources to turn to for accurate information or impartial insights? How do we develop the skills to distinguish between fact and fiction? Is there one objective truth, or multiple versions of truth, all taking a different perspective on the same event? Are truths permanent and immutable, or do they evolve over time? for millennia, with no sign of reaching consensus.

There are no absolute answers, and the report does not set out to provide them, but rather to explore the current state of 'truth'. No organisation or individual can claim to ‘own’ the truth. However, the academic, education, and publishing communities have a vital role to play in helping people to think critically about the world around them. They can provide access to high-quality resources that encourage debate and give people the tools necessary to examine ideas and information thoroughly, not just at face value.

Drawing on insights from a survey of 5,000 people across the UK, US, India, South Africa, and Mexico, as well as the views of academics, journalists, and educators, OUP wanted to explore questions such as: how do attitudes shift based on geography, cultural identity, age, or educational background? And how do concerns around trust and veracity differ across the world?

There is no doubt that we have more ways than ever to procure information, but perhaps less certainty or confidence about its quality.

Their findings show the complexity of this issue across the world. Exploring how we perceive truth — and understanding the issues and questions we will inevitably need to address in the coming years — will become increasingly important as we look towards a new reality.

Read the report here