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Celebrating World Anaesthesia Day 2014

World Anaesthesia Day commemorates the first successful demonstration of ether anaesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital on 16 October 1846. This was one of the most significant events in medical history, enabling patients to undergo surgical treatments without the associated pain of an operation. To celebrate this important day, we are highlighting a selection of British Journal of Anaesthesia podcasts so you can learn more about anaesthesia practices today.

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Slivinske 9780199335176

Trauma and emotional healing

Author of the book Night, Elie Wiesel, in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech stated, “I remember: it happened yesterday, or eternities ago” (1986, p. 118). This quote holds true for many who have survived terrible tragedies or traumatic events in their lives. Often, survivorship and healing after trauma are long and personalized journeys, individualized paths of learning how to live a meaningful life after surviving trauma or tragedy.

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The life of a bubble

They might be short-lived — but between the time a bubble is born (Fig 1 and Fig 2a) and pops (Fig 2d-f), the bubble can interact with surrounding particles and microorganisms. The consequence of this interaction not only influences the performance of bioreactors, but also can disseminate the particles, minerals, and microorganisms throughout the atmosphere. The interaction between microorganism and bubbles has been appreciated in our civilizations for millennia, most notably in fermentation.

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9780199539543

What exactly is intelligence?

Ask anybody that question and you will probably get a different answer every time. Most would argue that intelligence is limited to mankind and give examples of brainy people like Einstein or Newton. Others might identify it as being clever, good in exams or being smart, having a high IQ. But was Einstein particularly intelligent or Newton?

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Plato and contemporary bioethics

Since its advent in the early 1970s, bioethics has exploded, with practitioners’ thinking expressed not only in still-expanding scholarly venues but also in the gamut of popular media. Not surprisingly, bioethicists’ disputes are often linked with technological advances of relatively recent vintage, including organ transplantation and artificial-reproductive measures like preimplantation genetic diagnosis and prenatal genetic testing.

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Recurring decimals, proof, and ice floes

Why do we teach students how to prove things we all know already, such as 0.9999••• =1? Partly, of course, so they develop thinking skills to use on questions whose truth-status they won’t know in advance. Another part, however, concerns the dialogue nature of proof.

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9780199642489

Rheumatology through the ages

Today rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases affect more than 120 million people across Europe, but evidence shows that people have been suffering for many thousands of years. In this whistle-stop tour of rheumatology through the ages we look at how understanding and beliefs about the diseases developed.

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9780199356355

Contagious disease throughout the ages

Contagious disease is as much a part of our lives as the air we breathe and the earth we walk on. Throughout history, humankind’s understanding of disease has shifted dramatically as different cultures developed unique philosophic, religious and scientific beliefs.

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9780199944552

A spike in “compassion erosion”

For over thirty years my primary specialty has been the prevention of secondary stress (the pressures experienced in reaching out to others.) During these three decades, I have experienced periods during which the situation has become more difficult for those in the healing and helping professions.

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Blue LED lighting and the Nobel Prize for Physics

When I wrote Materials: A Very Short Introduction (published later this month) I made a list of all the Nobel Prizes that had been awarded for work on materials. There are lots. The first was the 1905 Chemistry prize to Alfred von Baeyer for dyestuffs (think indigo and denim). Now we can add another, as the 2014 Physics prize has been awarded to the three Japanese scientists who discovered how to make blue light-emitting diodes.

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9780199937776

“A Bright But Unsteady Light”

Edgar Allan Poe died 165 years ago today in the early morning of 7 October 1849. Only a few details of the illness that extinguished his “bright but unsteady light”4 are known because his physician, Dr. John Joseph Moran, used the illness to promote his own celebrity and in the process denied posterity an accurate clinical description.

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Achieving patient safety by supervising residents

Residency training has always had — and always will have — a dual mission: ensuring the safety of patients treated today by doctors-in-training, and ensuring the safety of patients treated in the future by current trainees once they have entered independent practice.

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Are we alone in the Universe?

World Space Week has prompted myself and colleagues at the Open University to discuss the question: ‘Is there life beyond Earth?’ The bottom line is that we are now certain that there are many places in our Solar System and around other stars where simple microbial life could exist, of kinds that we know from various settings, both mundane and exotic, on Earth. What we don’t know is whether any life DOES exist in any of those places.

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9780199950706

Youth suicide and bullying: what’s the connection?

The role of bullying in suicide among our young people has been intensely scrutinized in both media and research. As the deleterious impacts on mental and physical health for both perpetrators and targets—suicide being the most severe—become more evident, calls for framing of the problem from a public health framework have increased.

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9780199683086

CERN: glorious past, exciting future

Today, 60 years ago, the visionary convention establishing the European Organization for Nuclear Research — better known with its French acronym, CERN — entered into force, marking the beginning of an extraordinary scientific adventure that has profoundly changed science, technology, and society, and that is still far from over.

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Infinity Puzzle

Celebrating 60 years of CERN

2014 marks not just the centenary of the start of World War I, and the 75th anniversary of World War II, but on 29 September it is 60 years since the establishment of CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research or, in its modern form, Particle Physics.

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