Why “Nothing” Matters in Science

Watch the music video for “The Idea” off the album Music For Scientists:
Null results often get a bad rap, sometimes characterized as a study “finding nothing,” but there’s a lot we can learn from studies whose results fail to support their hypotheses.

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To learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
Null result: a result in a scientific study that doesn’t support the hypothesis
Premature birth: also known as preterm birth, is a birth that occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy
XENON1T: a highly sensitive experiment to search for direct interactions of dark matter particles. It’s located deep under Italy’s Gran Sasso mountain at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory.

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Julián Gustavo Gómez (@TheJulianGomez) | Script Writer, Narrator and Director
Arcadi Garcia i Rius (@garirius) | Illustration, Video Editing and Animation
Aldo de Vos (Know Art) | Music

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REFERENCES
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The importance of no evidence. Nat Hum Behav 3, 197 (2019).

Jena, A. B. (2017, November 10). ‘Null’ research findings aren’t empty of Meaning. Let’s publish them. Retrieved March 19, 2021, from

Maloni, Judith A. “Lack of evidence for prescription of antepartum bed rest.” Expert review of obstetrics & gynecology vol. 6,4 (2011): 385-393.

Matosin N, Frank E, Engel M, Lum JS, Newell KA. Negativity towards negative results: a discussion of the disconnect between scientific worth and scientific culture. Dis Model Mech. 2014 Feb;7(2):171-3.

Miller-Halegoua, Suzanne M. “Why null results do not mean no results: negative findings have implications for policy, practice, and research.” Translational behavioral medicine vol. 7,2 (2017): 137.

Mlinarić, Ana, Martina Horvat, and Vesna Šupak Smolčić. “Dealing with the positive publication bias: Why you should really publish your negative results.” Biochemia medica 27.3 (2017): 447-452.

W David Crews, Jr, David W Harrison, James W Wright, A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of the effects of dark chocolate and cocoa on variables associated with neuropsychological functioning and cardiovascular health: clinical findings from a sample of healthy, cognitively intact older adults, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 87, Issue 4, April 2008, Pages 872–880,

Zhao, L. (2017, December 29). When null results produce important science. Retrieved March 19, 2021, from

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20 comments

  1. Thanks for supporting MinuteEarth, with or without huge heads! Want to become our Patreon or member on YouTube? Just visit or click “JOIN”. Thanks!

  2. Correction: dark matter is not necessarily particles. It’s a phenomenon, and most particle physicists think it’s caused by particles.

  3. Zagreus be like: You cant stop me with those blue paper with cross, father!!!

  4. “It knows where you are because it knows where you aren’t. It knows what you’re doing because it knows what you’re not doing.”

  5. You should mention the most important null result in physics, , Michelson–Morley experiment

  6. It’s less about the results as it is about the process. As long as you follow the scientific method, anything that comes out at the end is valuable.

  7. Well, that’s kinda ironic, it seems. Dark Matter isn’t necessarily matter, is it?! We know it’s one of science misnomer and should more accurately be called something akin to Dark Gravity as it accounts to most of the gravity we observe, not the matter. We actually don’t observe matter, that’s part of the reason it’s still mysterious, right?! So calling it “stuff”, saying it accounts for “matter” and that we’re looking for “particles” is not entirely correct as we don’t knows. The irony here is that those researches could (and do so far) have null results, giving more credence to the possibility that it is not actually matter, or maybe not matter from our local universe, which opens the exploration for other explanations/hypothesis. Extremely cool stuff. 😏🔥🌈🌠🤩

  8. I thought u’d mention the fact NULL research is often under published as it doesn’t get big flashy headlines.