Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

business law lee roach

No “mere servant”: The evolving role of the company secretary

Discussion on company law and corporate governance tends to focus on the role of the board of directors, the shareholders, the creditors, and the auditor, but surprisingly little attention is paid to company secretaries. Indeed, outside of the corporate sector, it is likely that many people would never have heard of the office of company secretary.

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9780190243654

Why the future of social change belongs to community research

People don’t exist as isolated entities, and social programs, movements, or data analytic methods that assume they do are not aligned with reality—and may be doomed to fail. We all know that providing therapy or tutoring to a child may be less effective than hoped if the child’s parents, peers, school, and neighborhood are not also operating in a way that’s conducive to the child’s growth and well-being.

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9780195387070

Bosom, breast, chest, thorax… Part 2

To reconstruct an ancient root with a measure of verisimilitude is not too hard. However, it should be borne in mind that the roots are not the seeds from which words sprout, for we compare such words as are possibly related and deduce, or abstract their common part. Later we call this part “root,” tend to put the etymological cart before the horse, and get the false impression that that common part generates or produces words.

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9780199965038

Science informed by affection and ethics

“We may, without knowing it, be writing a new definition of what science is for,” said Aldo Leopold to the Wildlife Society in 1940. A moderate but still crisp April breeze was playing in my hair as the sun worked to melt the last bits of frost in the silt. Shoots of prairie grasses were popping up through the mud, past shell skeletons of river mussels and clams.

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9780190212094

The evolution of evolution

How did it come to this? How was evolution transformed from a scientific principle of human-as-animal to a contentious policy battle concerning children’s education? From the mid-19th century to today, evolution has been in a huge tug-of-war as to what it meant and who, politically speaking, got to claim it.

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9780198757245

The UK Competition Regime and the CMA

On 5 February 2015, the National Audit Office (NAO) published a report entitled “The UK Competition Regime”. The report assesses the performance of the UK competition regulators, focussing on the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). It concludes that the CMA has inherited certain strengths, including a positive legacy of merger and market investigation work.

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9780198713241

Implicit bias in the age of Trump

By any common definition, Trump’s statements and policies are racist. Yet we are researchers on implicit bias—largely unconscious, mostly automatic social biases that can affect people’s behavior even when they intend to treat others fairly regardless of their social group identity.

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9780198708933

How much of a threat does the “Brexit” referendum pose for the European Union?

Following the announcement of the so-called “Brexit” referendum on 20 February 2016 journalists and bloggers have discussed the “ins” and “outs” of EU membership, focusing on the arguments for and against, on interpreting the polls, and on reflecting on the success of the Leave and Remain camps during the first weeks of the pre-campaign period.

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Cook_Yablo Paradox

Temporal liars

One of the most famous, and most widely discussed, paradoxes is the Liar paradox. The Liar sentence is true if and only if it is false, and thus can be neither (unless it can be both). The variants of the Liar that I want to consider in this instalment arise by taking the implicit temporal aspect of the word “is” in the Liar paradox seriously.

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9780199658442

Lost in the museum

You go to the museum. Stand in line for half an hour. Pay 20 bucks. And then, you’re there, looking at the exhibited artworks, but you get nothing out of it. You try hard. You read the little annoying labels next to the artworks. Even get the audio-guide. Still nothing. What do you do? Maybe you’re just not into this specific artist. Or maybe you’re not that into paintings in general. Or art.

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9780199377527

Randomized controlled trials: Read the “fine print”!

Most randomized controlled trials (RCTs) can appear deceptively simple. Study subjects are randomized to experimental therapy or placebo—simple as that. However, this apparent simplicity can mask how important subtle aspects of study design—from patient selection to selected outcomes to trial execution—can sometimes dramatically affect conclusions.

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9780199858224

The invention of the information revolution

The idea that the United States economy runs on information is so self-evident and commonly accepted today that it barely merits comment. There was an information revolution. America “stopped making stuff.” Computers changed everything. Everyone knows these things, because of an incessant stream of reinforcement from liberal intellectuals, corporate advertisers, and policymakers who take for granted that the US economy shifted toward an “knowledge-based” economy in the late twentieth century.

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9780190463908

Looking for information: How to focus on quality, not quantity

Solving complex problems requires, among other things, gathering information, interpreting it, and drawing conclusions. Doing so, it is easy to tend to operate on the assumption that the more information, the better. However, we would be better advised to favor quality over quantity, leaving out peripheral information to focus on the critical one.

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9780199656127_450

Ancient Greek and Egyptian interactions

“You Greeks are children”. That’s what an Egyptian priest is supposed to have said to a visiting Greek in the 6th century BC. And in a sense he was right. We think of Ancient Greece as, well, “ancient”, and it is now known to go back to Mycenaean culture of the second half of the 2nd millennium BC. But Egyptian civilisation is much earlier than that: in the mid 2nd millennium BC it was at its height (the “New Kingdom”), but its origins go right into the 3rd millennium BC or even earlier.

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9780199352180

Revitalising Cambodian traditional performing arts for social change

I am recently returned home (Australia) from six months on a music research project in Cambodia. There were, of course, the practical challenges of the type I quite expected. In the monsoonal downpours, getting around in central Phnom Penh meant wading through knee-deep, dead-rat kind of drain-water. In the thatched huts of the provinces, malarial critters droned their way under my net by night. Gastro and heat exhaustion laid me flat.

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