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Benjamin Franklin and the sea

Everyone knows about Benjamin Franklin. His revolutionary electrical experiments made him famous, and the image of the kite-flying inventor spouting aphorisms has kept him so for more than two centuries. His Autobiography could be considered a founding document of the idea of America, the story of a poor but bright young indentured servant who eventually became so famous he appeared before kings and on our

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MEDLAW_2015

The Mental Capacity Act 2005: an opportune time to reflect

More than a decade has passed since the Mental Capacity Act (‘MCA’) received royal assent. Described as a ‘visionary piece of legislation’, the MCA was a significant landmark on the legal landscape. It represented a triumph of autonomy by recognising that, as far as possible, people should play an active role in decisions about their welfare.

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9780190498467-1

The economic efficiency of fake news

Fake news has always had a presence American politics. No less an august figure than Benjamin Franklin partook of the practice. In 1782 Franklin generated a fake version of a real Boston newspaper, featuring his own inspired but false story about American troops uncovering bags of scalps to be sent to the King of England. As the story was spun, the scalps were intended to win the King’s friendship toward Native Americans.

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9780199469543

What ails India’s health sector?

Most discourse on the health sector in India ends with a lament about underfunding and not without reason. India is one of 15 countries in the world that has a public spending record of about 1% of its GDP on health. Such low spending cannot be expected to deliver much. After all, health is expensive. We need to understand what ails the health sector and what we need to do. For every problem has its solution embedded within it. Understanding what ails us provides us with the opportunity to go forward.

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9780199364541

What members of congress can learn from nurses

Once again, the American public have rated nurses as the most trusted professionals, as they have for the past 15 years. Members of Congress were at the bottom of the list, as they have been for the past five years. What’s the difference between nurses and members of Congress when it comes to trust?

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9780199333929

The life and work of J.B.S. Haldane

John Burdon Sanderson (JBS) Haldane (1892-1964) was a leading science popularizer of the twentieth century. Sir Arthur C. Clarke described him as the most brilliant scientific popularizer of his generation. Haldane was a great scientist and polymath who contributed significantly to several sciences although he did not possess an academic degree in any branch of science.

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9780198707516

The making of Wells: from Bertie to H. G.

Youthful Bertie Wells was understandably depressed in the depths of winter in early 1888. He had escaped the drudgery of being a draper’s apprentice with a scholarship, only to flunk his second-year university exams and lose his funding to the Normal School of Science in Kensington.

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Human Trafficking Prevention Month: There are no “teen prostitutes”

January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month, declared each year since 2010 by presidential decree. However, there is still confusion as to what exactly human trafficking is. Despite seven years of raising awareness , on 21st November, the Washington Post published a story with the headline “Two teen prostitutes escaped through a bathroom window, and a sex ring began to unravel.”

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Pathogens and Disease journal cover

Bugs in space! Using microgravity to understand how bacteria can cause disease

Space may be the final frontier, but it’s not beyond the reach of today’s biologists. Scientists in all areas of biology, from tissue engineering to infectious diseases, have been using the extreme environment of space to investigate phenomena not seen on Earth. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has conducted research in the life sciences for almost 50 years.

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Has India seen a foreign policy reset under Narendra Modi?

In late 2016 and early 2017, as policymakers and analysts have scrambled to predict the great unknown of Donald Trump’s foreign policy pathway for the United States, it is worth remembering that some 20 months ago, India too confronted a seismic shift in leadership, and faced a future of significant foreign policy uncertainty. Narendra Modi rose to the Indian premiership in May 2014.

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FEMSLE cover 4 OUPblog

International scientific collaboration in an ever-changing world

It is a widely held perception that the United States and United Kingdom, leading nations in the field of science, synergistically combine scientific excellence with ready entry into international networks of scientific collaboration. However, both nations experienced important changes in 2016: the United Kingdom voted to separate from the European Union and the United States elected a controversial president.

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India: a work in progress

Every country that is on the ascendant feels the need for a “coming out” party. In the last half century, that need has been met most often by hosting the Olympic Games. Japan did it in 1964, South Korea followed in 1988, and China in 2008. The Olympic itch seems to come in the wake of economic growth that takes per capita income to the vicinity of $6,000

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9780190212605

Labeling right in the age of Trump

Steve Bannon is a white nationalist. That was the first media characterization I heard of the former Breitbart executive after his appointment as chief strategist and senior counselor to President-elect Donald Trump on November 13, 2016. During the month that followed, center-left commentators also described Bannon as a “racist,” a “white supremacist,” a “white separatist,” a “neo-Nazi,” a “fascist.”

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Curing brain aneurysms by reconstructing arteries

While it is believed that about one in 50 Americans harbor a brain aneurysm, most will never know it, and their aneurysm will never cause a problem. But rarely, the arterial wall of an aneurysm can become so thin that it bursts, spilling blood over the brain’s surface. This is the most feared outcome of a brain aneurysm and is what drives the urgency in treating many brain aneurysms, even if found accidentally.

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9780190614935

Caring about the past in the embattled present

Growing up in Manhattan meant that I didn’t live among ancient ruins – just subway stations, high-rise apartments, and Central Park’s relatively recent architectural confections. It took living for a year in Europe as a six-year old and for another year as a ten-year old to develop awareness about our collective heritage stretching back millennia. Visiting the vacant site of Stonehenge on a blustery fall day in the early 1960s

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How the Mind Comes into Being

How the mind comes into being

When we interact with our world – regardless if by means of a simple grasp, a smile, or the utterance of a sentence – we are typically quite confident that it was us, who intended to and thus executed the interaction. But what is this “us”? Is it something physical or something mental? Is it merely a deterministic program or is there more to it? And how does it develop, that is, how does the mind come into being?

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