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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Conservation Education and Outreach Techniques

Effective communications for conservation

From conserving endangered species to confronting climate change, natural resource management and conservation requires effective education and communication to achieve long-term results in our complex world. Research can help natural resource managers understand how to strategically use different outreach techniques and to promote new behaviors by involving and targeting their diverse audiences.

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Mentalizing in groups

‘Mentalizing’ is the new word for making sense of oneself, others, and intersubjective transactions in terms of inner motivations. It can be fast and intuitive (implicit mentalizing), as in most informal and routine interactions, or slow and elaborate (explicit mentalizing), when one steps back to indulge in reflective thinking. “Why did she say that?” The thought is such an integral part of being human that it is most often taken for granted. Yet it is an evolutionary achievement.

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Evolution: Some difficult problems

Two other major and largely unsolved problems in evolution, at the opposite extremes of the history of life, are the origin of the basic features of living cells and the origin of human consciousness. In contrast to the questions we have just been discussing, these are unique events in the history of life.

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Trick or treat – Episode 27 – The Oxford Comment

From baristas preparing pumpkin spiced lattes to grocery store aisles lined with bags of candy, the season has arrived for all things sweet-toothed and scary. Still, centuries after the holiday known as “Halloween” became cultural phenomenon, little is known to popular culture about its religious, artistic, and linguistic dimensions.

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Youth violence

Perhaps one of the most politically unpopular truths about violence is that it is young people who are most vulnerable to it, not the elderly or children, but youth. Global estimates from the World Health Organization are that, each year, 200,000 young people are murdered.

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wuthnow 9780190258900

Can we trust religious polls? [infographic]

Polls about religion have become regular features in modern media. They cast arguments about God and the Bible and about spirituality and participation in congregations very differently from the ones of preachers and prophets earlier in our nation’s history. They invite readers and viewers to assume that because a poll was done, it was done accurately.

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The Anglo-Saxons and the Jews

Anglo-Saxon England may seem like a solidly monochrome Christian society from a modern perspective. And in many respects it was. The only substantial religious minority in early medieval Western Europe, the Jews, was entirely absent from England before the Norman Conquest.

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The James Bond songs: Best of the forgotten and underrated

If you’re getting ready for the new Bond movie—and its recently released James Bond song—you might want to sift through the history of this 50-year-old franchise and think about your favorite Bond films and songs. But how many songs do you remember once you get past “Goldfinger” and “Live and Let Die”? We dug into the ones you might not recall, and those we believe deserve another listen. Here are our top 10.

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The woman who changed the world

Society owes a debt to Henrietta Lacks. Modern life benefits from long-term access to a small sample of her cells that contained incredibly unusual DNA. As Rebecca Skloot reports in her best-selling book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, the story that unfolded after Lacks died at the age of 31 is one of injustice, tragedy, bravery, innovation and scientific discovery.

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Etymology gleanings for September 2015

It so happened that I have been “gleaning” the whole month, but today I’ll probably exhaust the questions received during the last weeks. From a letter: “I have been told Norwegians would say forth and back rather that back and forth since it was logical for them to envision going away, then coming back.”

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Great Power: a ‘bridge too far’ for India?

Think of it. India was there when the Pharaohs ruled Egypt, it interacted with the long ago Mesopotamian empires on the Tigris and the Euphrates. India was the mysterious beyond Alexander of Macedon set out to conquer, and Indian spice and precious stones, finely woven cottons and silk, and peacocks, were the luxuries and the exotica craved by Imperial Rome in the age of the Caesers.

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Maccoby-Strategic Intelligence

Leadership for change

Change is constant. We are all affected by the changing weather, natural disasters, and the march of time. Changes caused by human activity—inventions, migrations, wars, government policies, new markets, and new values—affect organizations as well as individuals.

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Breaking down barriers

Barriers, like promises and piecrust, are made to be broken. Or broken down, rather. Translators, like teachers, are great breakers-down of barriers, though, like them, they are almost always undervalued. This autumn our minds and our media are full of images of razor-wire fences as refugees, fleeing war zones, try to cross borders legally or illegally in search of a safe haven.

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Preparing for world travel [infographic]

Are you planning a trip to Brazil, Cambodia, The Dominican Republic, Haiti, or another destination that requires immunizations in advance of your arrival? Are you a health care worker, about to travel to a destination currently dealing with an epidemic or outbreak?

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Henry Cowell

New appreciation for composer Henry Cowell

The extraordinarily innovative American composer Henry Cowell took Europe by storm as a touring pianist in the 1920s, playing his unforgettable compositions that often required using the entire forearm to play dozens of keys simultaneously. In later years he returned to give talks about his music and American music under the auspices of the State Department.

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Redfern and Hunter on International Arbitration

Hallo Wien! International Bar Association annual meeting 2015

After venturing to the far East of Japan last year, 2015 sees the return of the International Bar Association’s annual meeting to Europe. Vienna will host the conference this year, a city which holds an interesting pedigree as a legal centre. The Annual Meeting itself promises to be a must-attend event for all international lawyers, with sessions ranging from climate change justice to human trafficking.

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