Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Series & Columns

Epicureanism

Epicureanism: eat, drink, and be merry?

Most people have a good idea what it is to have a Stoical attitude to life, but what it means to have an Epicurean attitude is not so obvious. When attempting to decipher the true nature of Epicureanism it is first necessary to dispel the impression that fine dining is its central theme.

Read More
oupmusic

Cornetist memories: A Q&A with Hannah McGuffie

Our instrument of the month for February is the popular and melodic cornet. We sat down with Hannah McGuffie, Senior Marketing Manager for History and Science and lifelong cornetist, to talk about the joys and challenges of the instrument.

Read More
9780195387070

Shebang, by Jingo!

The lines above look (and sound) like identical oaths, but that happens only because of the ambiguity inherent in the preposition by. No one swears by my name, while Mr. Jingo has not written or published anything. Nowadays, jingoism “extreme and aggressive patriotism” and jingoist do not seem to be used too often, though most English speakers still understand them, but in Victorian England, in the late nineteen-seventies and some time later, the words were on everybody’s lips.

Read More
wrong

Happy new year, China: Recent economic booms and busts

The Chinese New Year begins on 8 February, ushering out the year of the sheep (or goat, or ram) and bringing in the year of the monkey. People in China will enjoy a week-long vacation and will celebrate with dragon dances and fireworks. Given the financial fireworks emanating from China, this is a good time to briefly review some of the major economic news coming out of the Middle Kingdom.

Read More
9780199687756_450

The Cancer Moonshot

Announced on January 13th by President Obama in his eighth and final State of the Union Address, the multi-billion dollar project will be led by US Vice President, Joe Biden, who has a vested interest in seeing new cures for cancer. Using genomics to cure cancer is being held on par with JFK’s desire in 1961 to land men on the moon.

Read More
9780199914081

Deferring the Cadillac tax kills it

Sometimes it is gratifying to have predicted the future. Sometimes it is not. The recent postponement of the so-called “Cadillac tax” until 2020 falls into the latter category. I predicted this kind of outcome when the Cadillac tax was first enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as “Obamacare.” I am unhappy that events have now proven this prediction correct.

Read More
9780199898121 - Pandemics: What Everyone Needs to Know (WENTK)

The Zika virus: a “virgin soil” epidemic

First isolated in Uganda in 1947, this normally mild, non-fatal mosquito-born flavivirus infection is characterized by transient fever, joint pain and malaise. The current explosive Zika virus epidemic in the Americas is, however, causing great concern because of what looks to be a sudden, dramatic increase in the incidence of microcephaly (small brain/head size) in newborns.

Read More
9780198739036

Bodies of breath, bodies of knowledge, and bodies of culture

Towards the end of his lecture on ‘techniques of the body’, delivered to a meeting of the Société Française de Psychologie in 1934, the sociologist and anthropologist Marcel Mauss discussed the methods of breathing practiced by Daoist priests and Yogic mystics. Far from being instinctive, these techniques require a lengthy apprenticeship.

Read More
9780195387070

Etymology gleanings for January 2016

Some of the most enjoyable comments and questions are those that combine scholarship and play. One of our correspondents pointed out that Engl. strawberry, if pronounced as a Slavic word, means (literally) “from grass take.” Indeed it does! In the Russian s travy beri, only one ending does not quite match Engl. s-traw-berry.

Read More
RB

The truth about “Auld Lang Syne”

Over the years since it was written, many millions must have sung ‘Auld Lang Syne’ (roughly translated as ‘days long past’) while sharing Mr. Micawber’s ignorance of what of its words actually mean. Most of us go through the year without singing a single song by Robert Burns, and then, within the space of 25 days, sing this one twice on January 1st and 25th

Read More
Infectious Disease VSI cover

Name that plague! [quiz]

Though caused by microscopic agents, infectious diseases have played an outsized role in human history. They have shaped societies, lent us words and metaphors, and turned the tide of wars. Humans have eliminated some diseases, but others continue to plague us. In this quiz, find out if confusion is contagious or if you’re immune to the challenge.

Read More
9780195387070

How did hiring begin?

Those who read word columns in newspapers and popular journals know that columnists usually try to remain on the proverbial cutting edge of politics and be “topical.” For instance, I can discuss any word I like, and in the course of more than ten years I have written essays about words as different as dude and god (though my most popular stories deal with smut; I have no idea why).

Read More
ICTVS

Challenges of cardio-thoracic surgery today

Oxford University Press is pleased to welcome Matthias Siepe as the new Editor-in-Chief of Interactive CardioVascular and Thoracic Surgery (ICVTS). We got to know Matthais during an interview and discovered how he came to specialise in cardiovascular surgery, how he sees this field in the future, and what he has in store for ICVTS.

Read More
9780190262044 - Health Care Reform and American Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know

Legal hurdles to the Affordable Care Act

Lawrence Jacobs and Theda Skocpol, authors of the newly-published third edition of Health Care Reform and American Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know, provide insight into the legal challenges that the Affordable Care Act faced, including the Supreme Court ruling in 2015.

Read More
mmcts_cover

How will new technology affect the future of cardiac surgery?

Oxford University Press is pleased to welcome René Prêtre as one of the the new Editors-in-Chief of Multimedia Manual of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (MMCTS). We got to know Dr. Prêtre during an interview and discovered how he came to specialise in cardio-thoracic surgery, how he sees this field in the future, and what he has in store for the Manual.

Read More