Doctors in the UK are striking for the first time in over 40 years. This comes after months of failed talks between the government and the British Medical Association (BMA) regarding the controversial new junior doctor contract. We do so with a heavy heart, as it goes against the very ethos of our vocation. Yet the fact that more than 98% of us voted to do so, speaks volumes about the current impasse.
On leaving school, my advisor reminded me to always take time to think. That seemed like a reasonable suggestion, as I trudged off to teach, write, and, of course, think. But the modern academy doesn’t share this value; faculty are increasingly prodded to “produce” more articles, more presentations, more grant applications, and more PhD students.
On 7 January, 2016, I asked Google, “what religion is Barack Obama”? After considering the problem for .42 seconds, Google offered more than 34 million “results.” The most obvious answer was at the top, accentuated by a rectangular border, with the large word “Muslim.” Beneath that one word read the line, “Though Obama is a practicing Christian and he was chiefly raised by his mother and her Christian parents…” Thank you, Google.
2015 will probably go down as the ‘year of migration’, certainly in Europe. All the contradictions of globalisation were coming to a head. All the ‘blowback’ from Western interventions in the Maghreb and in the Levant were coming home.
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.
After the West African Ebola epidemic of 2014, hardly anyone contests that the World Health Organization (WHO) made fatal mistakes during the crisis. It reacted too late and did too little to contain the outbreak before it got out of control. And it once again exposed its deeply entrenched dysfunctions that make it so difficult for the organization to live up to its role as the central standard setter, coordinator and crisis manager in global health
In the 1990s Australia began reforming its employment assistance system. Referred to as welfare-to-work, at the close of last century Australia had a publically owned, publically delivered system. By 2003, that system had been fully privatised and all jobseekers received their assistance via a private agency, working under government contract. To this day, Australia is the only country with a fully privatise quasi-market in employment services.
UK tax-credits are benefits first introduced in 1999 to help low-paid families through topping up their wages with the aims of ‘making work pay’ and reducing poverty; although they also cover non-working families with children.
When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its nominees for the 2015 Academy Awards, the James Franco/Seth Rogen comedy The Interview wasn’t on the list. That Oscar spurned this “bromance” surprised nobody. Most critics hated the film and even Rogen’s fans found it one of his lesser works. Those audiences almost didn’t have a chance to see the film.
The news seems to have gone quiet about Sangin district in Helmand. Before Christmas there was an intense media storm that the district was about to fall to the ‘Taliban’. There were reports of the SAS being deployed, and the day after, the story of multiple Taliban commanders being killed in a night raid. As I have written before, it is impossible to separate every one with guns in Helmand into two groups: the ‘government’ and the ‘Taliban’, so it is difficult to see who the SAS were targeting, and who they were supporting.
In June 2015, I co-chaired the organising committee of the first international mathematics education conference of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) titled ‘Barriers and Enablers to Learning Maths’ with the University of Glasgow, who also hosted it. The two and a half day conference explored approaches to teaching and learning mathematics and was structured around ten parallel sessions that delegates could choose from, including ‘Addressing mathematics & statistics anxiety’ and ‘Enhancing engagement with mathematics & statistics.’
The United States faces a paradox: being on the cutting edge of technology seems to have in recent years only a marginal effect on job creation. The history books and our traditional economic theories seem to have failed us – whereas before, technological revolutions usually led to tremendous growth in both GNP and employment, now, on the eve of some of the most impressive innovations we’ve ever seen, the economy and employment are recovering since the 2008 “Great Recession” at the slowest rate since the Depression.
With this family history behind me, questions of immigration are never far from my mind. I owe my existence to the generosity of the UK in taking in generations of refugees, as well as the kindness shown by one wealthy unmarried Christian woman – who agreed to foster my father for a few months until his parents arrived, but as that never happened, becoming his guardian until adulthood.
There are hundreds of investment products in the market that claim to outperform. The idea is that certain information is identified that allow us to pick stocks that will do better than average and those that will do worse than average. When you buy the stocks that will do better and short sell the ones that you think will do worse, you have potentially identified a strategy that will ‘beat the market.’
More than ever before, educators around the world are employing innovative methods to nurture growth, creativity, and intelligence in the classroom. Even so, finding groundbreaking ways to get through to students can be an uphill battle, particularly for students with special needs.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about what pronouns to use for persons whose gender is unknown, complicated, or irrelevant. Options include singular they and invented, common-gender pronouns. Each has its defenders and its critics.