Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

REEP journal

Does climate change spell the end of fine wine?

Fine wine is an agricultural product with characteristics that make it especially sensitive to a changing climate. The quality and quantity of wine, and thus prices and revenues, are extremely sensitive to the weather where the grapes were grown. Depending on weather conditions, the prices for wines produced by the same winemaker from fruit grown on the same plot of land can vary by a factor of 20 or more from year to year.

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Could a tax on animal-based foods improve diet sustainability?

The global food system is estimated to contribute 30% of total Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In this context, the EU has committed to reducing GHG emissions by 40% relative to 1990 levels by 2030 and by 80% by 2050. Apart from the necessary policies of citizen information and production regulation, could a consumer tax on the most Greenhouse gas-emitting foods be a relevant tool to improve diet sustainability? Could it combine greener and healthier diets with a limited social cost?

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Christian Bioethics

Note to Pope Francis: sex is more than just sex

Pope Francis is boldly liberalizing Catholic teaching on sexual matters. Or so it is commonly believed. In earlier ages of the Christian Church, both East and West, its canons and its teachings always understood human sexuality as having a very powerful effect upon the human soul.

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JoGSS

Beyond “methodological nationalism” in global security studies

Last week’s news of terrorist attacks in Lahore and Brussels followed only days after similar news from Istanbul. And before that Ankara, Jakarta, and Paris. The list goes on. Attacks on cities around the world are part of the new reality of global insecurity that transcends state and national borders. In addition to the terrible human devastation and fear caused by each incident, they are also examples of how traditional models of “national” security are not sufficient for understanding contemporary patterns of political violence.

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JNCI

Possible genetic pathway to melanoma

Genetic mutations that result in melanoma have been cataloged over the years. The missing piece has been an understanding of the order of their occurrence and how they move from a benign lesion to one that is cancerous. An article by Boris C. Bastian, MD, PhD; Hunter Shane, PhD; and others hopes to help answer some of those questions.

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OEP

Prostitution: The world’s oldest public policy issue

Ever since the first arrangements were made for the exchange of some form of money for some form of sex, buying (or selling) sex has raised thorny issues for society’s rulers and governments. The Israelites condemned it, believing it would encourage men to seek sex outside marriage (Proverbs 23:27–28). Throughout much of European history, the profession was legal and often a source of tax revenue.

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An absence of fairness: the Trade Union Bill

According to Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Trade Union Bill currently before Parliament is ‘not a ban on strike action. This is about ensuring that our rules are modern and right and fit for today’s workplace’. As the Bill progresses through the House of Lords, Mr Javid’s rosy view has been challenged by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

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Brain front matter

Today’s Forecast: Cloudy with a chance of seizures

For people suffering from recurrent epileptic seizures, one of the most burdensome aspects of their condition is the unpredictability of their seizures. While medications, surgery, and novel neurostimulation methods can eliminate seizures seizures in some cases, many people with epilepsy face the possibility of a seizure at any time, even when they occur only rarely.

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Food economics: a reading list

Agriculture is a means of living for a large percentage of the world’s population. Agricultural economics looks at the utilization and distribution of farming resources and aims to apply the principles of economic theory to farming and the production and allocation of food in order to optimize such processes. This month the annual conference of the Agricultural Economics Society is taking place.

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Launching into oral history

I was introduced to oral history while completing my Master’s in Library Science at the University of North Texas. I needed to fulfill my practicum requirement, and I took a chance on an advertisement to intern at NASA-Johnson Space Center. (I grew up wanting to be an astronaut, but in high school I met AP Calculus and that dream was indefinitely deferred.)

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The future of climate change in Africa

In December 2015 the international community gathered in Paris for the twenty-first yearly Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The first universal agreement was signed that ‘all parties’ (not just the developed countries or historic emitters) would take action to achieve the global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions, and pursue measures which would hold global temperature rises to 1.5°C.

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socio economic

The IMF and global exchange rates: dissensus in Washington

In many scholarly and activist circles, the International Monetary Fund (IMF, or ‘the Fund’) has a reputation as a global bully. The phrase ‘Washington consensus’ has come to invoke a rigid orthodoxy of austerity and liberalization which the Fund, along with its cousins the World Bank and the US Treasury, imposes on developing countries. As an organization, the IMF is seemingly monolithic, drawing comparison to the Vatican even amongst its own staff.

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Interviews with historians: An OAH video series

At the 2015 Organization of American Historians conference in St. Louis, we interviewed OUP authors and journal editors to understand their views on the history discipline. Gathering at the OUP booth, scholars – working in fields ranging from women’s history to racial history, cultural history to immigration history – discussed topics both professional and personal.

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Climate and the inequality of nations

Countries grow richer as one moves away from the equator, and the same is generally true if one looks at differences among regions within countries. However, this was not always the case: research has shown that in 1500 C.E., for example, there was no such positive link between latitude and prosperity. Can these irregularities be explained? It seems likely an answer can be found in factors strongly associated with latitude.

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