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10 facts about the “king of instruments”

The organ is a complex, powerful instrument. Its history is involved and wide-ranging, and throughout the years it has commanded respect as it leaves its listeners in awe. To celebrate the organ, we compiled a list of 10 facts you may or may not know about this magnificent instrument.

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The UK Competition Regime and the CMA

On 5 February 2015, the National Audit Office (NAO) published a report entitled “The UK Competition Regime”. The report assesses the performance of the UK competition regulators, focussing on the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). It concludes that the CMA has inherited certain strengths, including a positive legacy of merger and market investigation work.

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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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Implicit bias in the age of Trump

By any common definition, Trump’s statements and policies are racist. Yet we are researchers on implicit bias—largely unconscious, mostly automatic social biases that can affect people’s behavior even when they intend to treat others fairly regardless of their social group identity.

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Show me the bodies: A monumental public policy failure

In the 21st century, “show-me-the-bodies” seems a cruel and outdated foundation for public policy. Yet history is littered with examples—like tobacco and asbestos—where only after the death toll mounts is the price of inaction finally understood to exceed that of action.

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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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How much of a threat does the “Brexit” referendum pose for the European Union?

Following the announcement of the so-called “Brexit” referendum on 20 February 2016 journalists and bloggers have discussed the “ins” and “outs” of EU membership, focusing on the arguments for and against, on interpreting the polls, and on reflecting on the success of the Leave and Remain camps during the first weeks of the pre-campaign period.

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Cook_Yablo Paradox

Temporal liars

One of the most famous, and most widely discussed, paradoxes is the Liar paradox. The Liar sentence is true if and only if it is false, and thus can be neither (unless it can be both). The variants of the Liar that I want to consider in this instalment arise by taking the implicit temporal aspect of the word “is” in the Liar paradox seriously.

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Lost in the museum

You go to the museum. Stand in line for half an hour. Pay 20 bucks. And then, you’re there, looking at the exhibited artworks, but you get nothing out of it. You try hard. You read the little annoying labels next to the artworks. Even get the audio-guide. Still nothing. What do you do? Maybe you’re just not into this specific artist. Or maybe you’re not that into paintings in general. Or art.

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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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Randomized controlled trials: Read the “fine print”!

Most randomized controlled trials (RCTs) can appear deceptively simple. Study subjects are randomized to experimental therapy or placebo—simple as that. However, this apparent simplicity can mask how important subtle aspects of study design—from patient selection to selected outcomes to trial execution—can sometimes dramatically affect conclusions.

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The invention of the information revolution

The idea that the United States economy runs on information is so self-evident and commonly accepted today that it barely merits comment. There was an information revolution. America “stopped making stuff.” Computers changed everything. Everyone knows these things, because of an incessant stream of reinforcement from liberal intellectuals, corporate advertisers, and policymakers who take for granted that the US economy shifted toward an “knowledge-based” economy in the late twentieth century.

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Looking for information: How to focus on quality, not quantity

Solving complex problems requires, among other things, gathering information, interpreting it, and drawing conclusions. Doing so, it is easy to tend to operate on the assumption that the more information, the better. However, we would be better advised to favor quality over quantity, leaving out peripheral information to focus on the critical one.

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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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