Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Pseudoscience surplus

By Sergio Della Sala
We are besieged by misinformation on all sides; when this misinformation masquerades as science, we call it pseudoscience. The scientific tradition has methods which offer a way to get accurate evidence, and decrease the chance of misinformation persisting for long.

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If you’re so smart, why aren’t you happy?

By Howard Rachlin
‘I know these will kill me, I’m just not convinced that this particular one will kill me.’
–Jonathan Miller to Dick Cavett on his lit cigarette, backstage at the 92nd Street Y in New York

Miller’s problem is actually a practical form of the central problem of ancient Greek philosophy.

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Frailty and creativity

By Cretien van Campen
Frail older people are more oftentimes considered a burden for society, than not. They are perceived to require intensive care that can be expensive while producing nothing contributory to society. The collective image is that frail older people are ‘useless’; in my opinion, we do not endeavor to ‘use’ them or know how to release productivity in them.

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Schizophrenia and oral history

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
It’s been awhile, but the Oral History Review on OUPblog podcast is back! Today’s episode features OHR contributors Drs. Linda Crane and Tracy McDonough answering OHR Managing Editor Troy Reeves’s questions about the Schizophrenia Oral History Project and their article, “Living with Schizophrenia: Coping, Resilience, and Purpose,” which appears in the most recent Oral History Review.

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OK Go: Is the Writing on the Wall?

By Siu-Lan Tan
When I saw OK Go’s ‘The Writing’s on the Wall’ video a few days ago, I was stunned. If you aren’t one of the over eight million people that has seen this viral music video yet, you’re in for a visual treat. OK Go is known for creative videos, but this is the band’s richest musical collage of optical illusions so far.

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LGBT Pride Month Reading List

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is celebrated each year in the month of June to honour the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. This commemorative month recognizes the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

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Girls who kill

By Kathleen M. Heide, Ph.D.
There has been a resurgence of interest in girls who kill, following the report of two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls who stabbed another girl of the same age 19 times on May 31, 2014. The girls reportedly had planned to kill their friend following a birthday sleepover to demonstrate their allegiance to a fictionalized internet character known as Slender Man.

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Common questions about shared reading time

By Jamie Zibulsky, Anne Cunningham, and Chelsea Schubart
Throughout the process of reading development, it is important to read with your child frequently and to make the experience fun, whether your child is a newborn or thirteen. This may not sound like news to many parents, but the American Academy of Pediatrics is just announcing their new recommendation that parents read with their children daily from infancy on.

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Does learning a second language lead to a new identity?

Everyday I get asked why second language learning is so hard and what can be done to make it easier. One day a student came up to me after class and asked me how his mother could learn to speak English better. She did not seem to be able to breakthrough and start speaking. Perhaps you or someone you know has found learning another language difficult.

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Celebrating Trans Bodies, Trans Selves

We kicked-off Pride Month early this year, celebrating the publication of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community in late May. Taking Our Bodies, Our Selves as its model, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is an all-encompassing resource for the transgender community and any one looking for information.

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Splash! What kids discover in a puddle

By Siu-Lan Tan
It’s spring and about this time each year, a little ritual takes place. After the winter melt, many children encounter their first puddle with the zeal of an explorer discovering a new land.

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Psychology, veterans, war, and remembrance

By Michael D. Matthews
My daily walk to work takes me through West Point’s cemetery. Founded in 1817, the cemetery includes the graves of soldiers who fought in the American Revolution, and in all of the wars our country has fought since. I often stop and reflect on the lives of these men and women who are interred here.

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The Normal Heart and the resilience of the AIDS generation

By Perry N. Halkitis
On 25 May 2014 and nearly 30 years after first appearing on the stage, Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart will be aired as a film on HBO. This project, which has evolved over the course of the last three decades, documents those first few harrowing years of the AIDS epidemic in New York City.

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What role does symmetry play in the perception of 3D objects?

By Zygmunt Pizlo, Yunfeng Li, Tadamasa Sawada, and Robert M. Steinman
The most general definition of symmetry is self-similarity: that one part of an object, pattern, signal, or process is similar, or more-or-less identical to another. According to this definition, the complete absence of symmetry is equivalent to perfect randomness, so symmetry is another name for redundancy.

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