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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

FEMS Microbiology Letters

MOOCs and higher education: evolution or revolution?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) burst into the public consciousness in 2012 after feverish press reports about elite US universities offering free courses, through the Internet, to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) course on Circuits and Electronics that had attracted 155,000 registrations was a typical example. Pundits proclaimed a revolution in higher education and numerous universities, fearful of being left behind, joined a rush to offer MOOCs.

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The quest for a malaria vaccine continues

The 2016 World Malaria Report estimates that there were approximately 215 million cases of malaria and 438,000 deaths in 2015. The majority of deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and among young children, and malaria remains endemic in around 100 countries with over three billion people at risk. Over the past 15 years there have been major gains in reducing the global burden of malaria

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Human rights and the (in)humanity at EU’s borders

The precarious humanitarian situation at Europe’s borders is creating what seems to be an irresolvable tension between the interests of European states to seal off their borders and the respect for fundamental human rights. Frontex, EU’s External Border Control Agency, in particular has been since its inception in 2004 embroiled in a fair amount of public controversy.

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OFID

World Malaria Day 2016

Over the past few years, the momentum of research and efforts on malaria has tremendously decreased malaria transmission and the number of deaths from this disease. However, in many poor tropical and subtropical countries of the world, malaria continues to be one of the leading causes of illness and death.

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BJA Education

Sepsis: What we need to know now

The man doing a spot of gardening cleaning out his fishpond in Europe, the woman who becomes unwell after giving birth in rural India, the child with pneumonia in Rwanda, and the senior citizen who develops diverticulitis in Singapore – the triggers are different but they all die from the same disease process: sepsis.

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International criminal law and Daesh

On 20 April 2016, after hearing harrowing testimony coming from victims, the UK House of Commons unanimously adopted a resolution declaring “That this House believes that Christians, Yazidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria are suffering genocide at the hands of Daesh; and calls on the Government to make an immediate referral to the UN Security Council [SC] with a view to conferring jurisdiction upon the International Criminal Court [ICC] so that perpetrators can be brought to justice” (HC Hansard 20 April 2016 columns 957-1000).

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ENGHIS

Shifting commemorations, the 1916 Easter Rising

This Easter, Dublin experienced the culmination of the commemorative activities planned for the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. There was the traditional reading of the Proclamation in front of the General Post Office (GPO), the military parade, and a series of talks and seminars, held at various locations of historical and national significance.

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Protecting the Earth for future generations

Earth Day is an annual celebration, championed by the Earth Day Network, which focuses on promoting environmental protection around the world. The Earth Day Network’s mission is to build a healthy, sustainable environment, address climate change, and protect the Earth for future generations. The theme for Earth Day 2016 is Trees for the Earth, raising awareness around protecting the Earth’s forests.

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Long-term causes of the Eurozone crisis

The European Union is undergoing multiple crises. The UK may vote in favour of leaving the Union in June. European Union member states are in deep disagreement on various crucial issues, not only on how to handle the stream of refugees from the Near East, but also on how to combat terrorism, and how to deal with Russia. And, in each election, Eurosceptic parties garner an increasing share of the vote.

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The Journals of Gerontology

Oral health and well-being among older adults

When we think about well-being among older adults, how often do we think about their oral health as being an important component? In reviews of risk factors for low well-being among older adults, oral health is never explicitly mentioned, although other health conditions and disease states are often discussed.

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The conservation of biodiversity: thinking afresh

In many walks of life there is much talk about “disruptive” developments which bring change that shatters the established way of doing things. In relation to the conservation of biodiversity, we can see two very different developments which might have such an effect on the conventional legal approaches.

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Aesthetic surgery and Alzheimer’s risk

A growing body of scientific support for the notion that an individual’s attitudes toward aging and personal appearance could have profound effects upon physical and mental well-being. As a result, I began to wonder whether it’s possible that such attitudes may, in measurable ways, impact the development of specific diseases.

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Summer school for oral historians

When I joined UC Berkeley’s Oral History Center (OHC) in late 2013, I quickly began work designing, planning, and running the Advanced Oral History Summer Institute (SI), which is organized around the life cycle of the interview. Because leading the SI is one of my most important roles at the OHC, it’s hard for me to be objective about its value (I think our week is a robust resource and provides excellent formal training).

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The legacy of ancient Greek politics, from Antigone to Xenophon

What do the pamphlets of the English Civil War, imperial theorists of the eighteenth century, Nazi schoolteachers, and a left-wing American artist have in common? Correct! They all see themselves as in dialogue with classical antiquity, drawing on the political thought of ancient Greek writers. Nor are they alone in this; the idea that Western thought is a series of ‘footnotes to Plato’, as Alfred Whitehead suggested in 1929, is a memorable formulation of the extensive role of ancient Greece within modernity.

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AJLH

How legal history shapes the present

The field of “legal history” studies the relationship that “law” and legal institutions have to the society that surrounds them. “Law” means everything from local regulations and rules promulgated by administrative agencies, to statutes and court decisions. Legal history is interested in how “law” and legal institutions operate, and how they change over time in reaction to changing economic, social, and political conditions.

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