Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

9780198716228

Why the junior doctors’ strike matters to everyone

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.

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9780190218478

Miley Cyrus and the culture of excess in American history

Miley Cyrus has shocked the world anew with a recent CANDY Magazine photo shoot by over-the-top fashion photographer Terry Richardson. Cyrus sticks her tongue out with enthusiasm—and does much more. In one image, she is “dressed” in a police officer’s uniform, except that she is not wearing a shirt and a pair of handcuffs is displayed prominently.

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9780199948901

No time to think

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.

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9780199372706

What religion is Barack Obama?

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.

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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.

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Hanrieder-International Organization in Time

The exception should become the rule in the World Health Organization

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

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information tech law

Finding proportionality in surveillance laws

The United Kingdom Parliament is currently in the pre-legislative scrutiny phase of a new Investigatory Powers Bill, which aims to “consolidate existing legislation and ensure the powers in the Bill are fit for the digital age.” It is fair to say this Bill is controversial with strong views being expressed by both critics and supporters of the Bill. Against this backdrop it is important to cut through the rhetoric and get to the heart of the Bill and to examine what it will do and what it will mean in terms of the legal framework for British citizens, and indeed for those overseas.

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Sources for Shakespeare’s biography

When opening a work of Shakespearean biography, it’s not unusual to find some sort of lament about a lack of data – albeit that it quickly becomes clear that this has not stood in the way of producing a substantial volume. However, rather than dwell on how this can still be done, perhaps we should re-examine what we mean when we say there is little to go on.

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9780199669608

Lying, belief, and paradox

The Liar paradox is often informally described in terms of someone uttering the sentence: I am lying right now. If we equate lying with merely uttering a falsehood, then this is (roughly speaking) equivalent to a somewhat more formal, more precise version of the paradox that arises by considering a sentence like: “This sentence is false”.

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9780199895632 - God Is Watching You: How the Fear of God Makes Us Human

Supernatural punishment: the common denominator

So here’s the question: Is religion evolutionarily advantageous? We can’t ever know for sure what life was like for our prehistoric ancestors, but I hypothesise that supernatural punishment was a very important promoter of cooperation and a way to reduce self-interest, which was vital to the evolution of human societies.

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9780190249380

Religion is not primitive science

When I first heard the suggestion that religion is primitive science, I put it down to ignorance on the part of people who had not studied these things. Having not studied religion, they did not understand what our ancestors’ religious statements were really doing.

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9780198749578

Religious belief, fundamentalism, and intolerance

Religious belief has been allied, for centuries, with fundamentalism and intolerance. It’s possible to have one without the other, but it requires a degree of self-criticism that is not easily acquired. When Calvin endorsed the execution of Michael Servetus in 1553, he justified his decision by appeal to the certainty of his own religious faith.

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9780198746348

The art of persuasion

Although expert evidence in criminal jury trials is often heavily relied upon, the secrecy of the jury room has long prevented concrete analysis of the process. We spoke to Ian Freckelton QC about the undertaking of this unparalleled study of expert evidence and criminal jury trials

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9780199592548_450

Dialysis and hepatitis

From about 1964, there was increasing excitement that dialysis might become a major life-saving treatment for chronic renal failure, not just for acute renal failure. Transplantation was also in its infancy, but despite some promise, overall success rates at this time were very poor.

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9780198723547

Let us not run blindfolded into the minefield of future technologies

There is a widely held conception that progress in science and technology is our salvation, and the more of it, the better. This is the default assumption not only among the general public, but also in the research community including university administration and research funding agencies, all the way up to government ministries. I believe the assumption to be wrong, and very dangerous.

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9780198753742

Mentalization and borderline personality disorder (part one)

Sigmund Karterud is a pioneer of group therapy for borderline personality disorders. He focuses on mentalization: our ability to understand ourselves and other people in terms of mental phenomena – beliefs, feelings, wishes, and hopes. Marketing assistant Joe Hitchcock sat down with the Norwegian psychiatrist from Ulleval University Hospital to explore the concepts, history, and effectiveness of the treatment.

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