Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Science & Medicine

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The environmental case for nuclear power

Time is running short. When the IPCC published its first scientific report in 1990 on the possibility of human-caused global warming, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) was 354 ppm. It is now 397 ppm and rising. In spite of Kyoto, Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban, and Doha, atmospheric CO2 continues its inexorable upward path.

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ocean-worlds

The life of oceans: a history of marine discovery

It pays to be nice. One of the most absolutely, emphatically wrong hypotheses about the oceans was coined by one of the most carefree and amiable people in nineteenth century science. It should have sunk his reputation without trace. Yet, it did not.

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If it’s 2014, this must be Sacramento

It is likely that most ecologists have their own stories regarding the annual meetings of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), the world’s largest organization of professional ecologists. Some revere it, whereas others may criticize it. There is, however, truth in numbers—growth in attendance has been seemingly exponential since my first meeting in the early 1980’s.

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9780199914760

Technologies of sexiness

What does it mean for a woman to “feel sexy”? In our current consumer culture, the idea of achieving sexiness is all-pervasive: an expectation of contemporary femininity, wrapped up in objects ranging from underwear, shoes, sex toys, and erotic novels. Particular celebrities and “sex symbol” icons, ranging throughout the decades, are said to embody it…

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science-of-cheese

The health benefits of cheese

Lipids (fats and oils) have historically been thought to elevate weight and blood cholesterol and have therefore been considered to have a negative influence on the body. Foods such as full-fat milk and cheese have been avoided by many consumers for this reason. This attitude has been changing in recent years.

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psychotherapists-companion

My client’s online presence

Social media and other technologies have changed how we communicate. Consider how we coordinate events and contact our friends and family members today, versus how we did it 20 or 30 years ago. Today, we often text, email or communicate through social media more frequently than we phone or get together in person.

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youth-new-media

Youth and the new media: what next?

Now that the Internet has been with us for over 25 years, what are we to make of all the concerns about how this new medium is affecting us, especially the young digital natives who know more about how to maneuver in this space than most adults.

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fostering-resilience

Why hope still matters

Someone asked me at a recent book talk why I chose to write about hope and children in poverty. They asked whether it was frivolous to write about such a topic at a time when children are experiencing the challenges associated with poverty and economic disadvantage at high rates.

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Michael Jackson, 10,000 hours, and the roots of creative genius

That any person could become an expert in something if they simply spend about 3 hours per day for ten years is an appealing concept. This idea, first championed by Ericsson and brought to prominence by Gladwell, has now taken root in the popular media. It attempts to discuss these differences in terms of the environment. The idea is that practice with the purpose of constantly gathering feedback and improving can lead any person to become an expert.

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How medical publishing can drive research and care

By Béla Büki
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a very frequent cause of harmless but unpleasant vertigo and dizziness complaints. It is caused by dislodged otoconia floating into the semicircular canals, which measure angular accelerations of the head and initiate corrective eye movements during fast head movements. Otoconia are calcium-carbonate crystals functioning as weights in the miniature acceleration sensors in the inner ear, informing us about gravity and linear accelerations.

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Boxes and paradoxes

By Marjorie Senechal
It was eerie, a gift from the grave. But I thank serendipity, not spooks. The gift, it turns out, was given forty years ago.

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Paul Otlet, Google, Wikipedia, and cataloging the world

As soon as humanity began its quest for knowledge, people have also attempted to organize that knowledge. From the invention of writing to the abacus, from medieval manuscripts to modern paperbacks, from microfiche to the Internet, our attempt to understand the world — and catalog it in an orderly fashion with dictionaries, encyclopedias, libraries, and databases — has evolved with new technologies.

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Why you can’t take a pigeon to the movies

By Siu-Lan Tan
Films trick our senses in many ways. Most fundamentally, there’s the illusion of motion as “moving pictures” don’t really move at all. Static images shown at a rate of 24 frames per second can give the semblance of motion. Slower frame rates tend to make movements appear choppy or jittery. But film advancing at about 24 frames per second gives us a sufficient impression of fluid motion.

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