Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World


Scrutinizing the script of the medieval ‘Tremulous Hand of Worcester’

How would we know if a medieval person had a neurological disorder? If we did know, would it be possible to pinpoint the type of condition? What insight can we gain about the practical impact of disorders on medieval life? Fortunately, a physical record survives that provides a reliable window into the health of medieval people—or, at least, those who were able to write.

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The future of aesthetic surgery

Plastic surgery, aesthetic surgery, cosmetic surgery: the field has many different names. Yet despite its high profile today, many people even within the medical field have a limited understanding of it and the drastic changes it’s undergoing. From noninvasive procedures to patient education, aesthetic surgeons face a variety of new challenges. We sat down with Foad Nahai, editor of Aesthetic Surgery Journal‎, to learn more about developments in the field.

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The Gerontologist

Sexual decision-making for older adults with dementia

Who decides with whom we are allowed to have sex? Generally, consenting adults are considered to have the ability to make decisions regarding sexual activity and are allowed to pursue a sexual relationship with whomever they choose, assuming appropriate criteria for consent are met.

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Back to the “stove front”: an oral history project about Cuban housewives

We recently asked you to tell us to send us your reflections, stories, and the difficulties you’ve faced while doing oral history. This week, we bring you another post in this series, focusing on an oral history project from Carmen Doncel and Henry Eric Hernández. We encourage you to to chime into the discussion, comment below or on our Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and G+ pages.

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Journal of Public Health

Health inequalities: what is to be done?

The research literature on health inequalities (health differences between different social groups) is growing almost every day. Within this burgeoning literature, it is generally agreed that the UK’s health inequalities (like those in many other advanced, capitalist economies) are substantial.

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Meta-analysis of animal studies: a solution to animal waste

Animal research has always attracted a lot of attention because it involves the welfare of animals being compromised. Given this pressure, you would expect that animal studies are performed according to the highest scientific standards; however, there are big methodological problems.

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Is phantom limb pain all in one’s head?

Phantom limb pain is thought to result from changes in brain organisation. Recent evidence challenges this view, leaving this mysterious phenomenon unsolved. Picture yourself waking up in the hospital. Your body is hurting, but you can’t remember what happened. The doctor tells you that you had a severe accident causing you to lose your left arm.

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Silencing Jean Louise: the media and Harper Lee

For a brief moment in July of 2015, the American news media exploded with headline stories about a work of literature, something of an unprecedented turn for the mass media. That this coverage should have focused almost exclusively on race issues and ignored the “new” volume’s revelations about gender issues in Lee’s novels is understandable. The explanation lies in the coincidence of the book’s publication with a series of wrenching racial events from Ferguson to Charleston and summarized in the “Black Lives Matter” campaign.

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14781395 jicj journal of international criminal justice

Sexual exploitation and abuse by UN Peacekeepers

Sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by UN peacekeepers is not fresh news. It has been going on for years. It first hit the headlines over ten years ago, and the scandal drove the UN to take action. Yet recent allegations over SEA by French peacekeepers in 2014 have brought the issue to the forefront again, and have motivated the UN Secretary-General to escalate the UN’s response to SEA in its peacekeeping operations.

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Cancer science and the new frontier

What is the future of cancer research? In recent years, new developments in this rapidly changing field have delivered fundamental insights into cancer biology. Patient options have not only increased but improved, with thousands of individuals benefiting from these often life-saving discoveries, many of which have been documented by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, an internationally acclaimed source for original cancer-related research, up-to-date news, and information.

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Journal of American History

America’s mass incarceration problem

The United States holds the world’s largest prison population, but just how deep does our nation’s system of punishment and containment run? In the June 2015 issue of the Journal of American History, historians examine the origins and consequences of America’s carceral state. These articles discuss how mass incarceration’s effects seep into all facets of American society—economic, political, legal, and social. Process, the OAH’s blog, delves into such perspectives through a series of posts from the special issue’s authors.

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Space, place, and policing [interactive map]

“For policing scholars, space, places, and the physical and social environment have served as significant contextual backdrops,” state Cynthia Lum and Nicholas Fyfe, Special Editors of the Policing Special Issue. To mark Policing’s new Special Issue on ‘Space, Place, and Policing: Exploring Geographies of Research and Practice’, we’ve put together a map showcasing the global and place-based approaches the journal’s contributors have taken towards policing research.

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What is climate change law?

Some years ago Dave Markell and I noticed that commentary on climate change law was devoting a tremendous amount of attention to a small handful of judicial opinions as being representative of trends in climate change litigation, whereas inventories of climate change litigation, such as the Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center blog, included hundreds of active and resolved cases.

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Off the beaten path: An insider’s guide to Tampa history for #OHA2015

There are less than two months left before we converge on Tampa for the Oral History Association’s annual meeting! This week, we asked Jessica Taylor of the University of Florida’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, who authored “We’re on Fire: Oral History and the Preservation, Commemoration, and Rebirth of Mississippi’s Civil Rights Sites” in the most recent Oral History Review.

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How much do you know about sources of energy? [quiz]

Energy consumption is changing. Governments and businesses around the world are exploring low carbon options including biofuels, natural gas and wind in an attempt to achieve longstanding energy security. Production of new sources has led to controversies about economic and environmental impacts and the trade-offs they generate between food and fuel production, energy security and environmental quality.

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Age-friendly community initiatives: coming to a neighborhood near you?

The saying that “It takes a village” is well known when recognizing the role of communities in promoting children’s health and human development. At the same time, there is a growing worldwide movement drawing attention to how much communities matter for people of other ages—especially adults confronting the challenges of later life. Efforts to make communities better places for older adults (and potentially for people of all ages) reflect a growing field of research, policy, and practice called “age-friendly community initiatives” (AFCIs).

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