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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Unexpected Prosperity: How Spain Escaped the Middle Income Trap

Beyond the Anna Karenina principle in economic development

The opening sentence of Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina–All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way–is popular among development practitioners, who often offer their own version as follows: All rich economies are alike; each poor economy is poor in its own way. This idea, which we can call the Anna Karenina principle of economic development, is meant as a recognition of the value of context and local knowledge.

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A long look at the origin of idioms

Idioms are a thankful subject: one needs no etymological algebra or linguistic preparation for suggesting the origin of phrases. And yet it may be useful to explain how a professional goes about studying idioms.

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A Florence Price mystery solved (part two)

To my knowledge, Price’s Boston address remained inconclusive until I visited Special Collections at the University of Arkansas Mullins Library this past January to find new leads for the Price biography I am co-authoring with Samantha Ege, the Lord Crewe Junior Research Fellow in Music at Lincoln College, Oxford. The recovery of this information fills a void in a life story for which “the necessary evidence to write a detailed biography,” as preeminent Price scholar Rae Linda Brown once put it, “is surprisingly scant.”

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Five ways to support international students studying in the UK

Going to university for the first time, or embarking on graduate study, is a significant transition for anyone. Doing it in an unfamiliar country, with no support network, unaccustomed to the idiosyncrasies of the daily life and daunted by an alien academic culture, can be overwhelming—and that’s before we even consider that students may be doing all this in a second language!

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A Concise Guide to Communication in Science and Engineering

The curious popularity of “however” in research articles

There are many ways to signal a change of direction in a piece of text, but the most common is by inserting a “but.” Alternatives such as “although,” “though,” “however,” “yet,” and “nevertheless” generally run a poor second. In research articles, though, the prevalence of “however” increases—especially in some disciplines.

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The sour milk of etymology

The time has come to write something about the etymology of the word milk. Don’t hold your breath: “origin unknown,” that is, no one can say why milk is called milk, but then no one can say why water is called water either.

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A Florence Price mystery solved (part one)

To my knowledge, Price’s Boston address remained inconclusive until I visited Special Collections at the University of Arkansas Mullins Library this past January to find new leads for the Price biography I am co-authoring with Samantha Ege, the Lord Crewe Junior Research Fellow in Music at Lincoln College, Oxford. The recovery of this information fills a void in a life story for which “the necessary evidence to write a detailed biography,” as preeminent Price scholar Rae Linda Brown once put it, “is surprisingly scant.”

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Before the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is another tragic setback in our efforts at building a sustainable future

To say that wars cause disruption and hardship is stating the painfully obvious. Regardless of attempts—real or professed—at limiting civilian casualties, military conflict always unleashes suffering on the civilian population. History also shows us that the disruptive effect of war also runs deeper and far beyond the geographic limits of fighting with far-reaching consequences for sustainability.

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The Journals of Gerontology: Series A

We are what we breathe: environmental factors in biological ageing

Volcanic eruptions, floods, and heatwaves have forced us to think seriously about whether the air we breathe will allow us to age healthily. To try to answer this question, we selected a unique sample of five middle-income countries on four continents and used NASA satellite remote sensing data to assess the associations between long-term exposure to ambient PM2.5 and frailty in older populations.

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Social Workers' Desk Reference

Social work in the anti-science era: how to build trust in science-based practice

Over the past five to seven years, there has been an increase in anti-science rhetoric and ideas which look to replace the reliance on science with misleading theories and discredit scientific experts. Unfortunately, non-scientific beliefs gained traction during the pandemic and show no signs of slowing. This post-truth and anti-science movement places the field of social work at an important crossroads.

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Journal of Animal Science

How avocados may boost dog health [infographic]

In a new Journal of Animal Science study, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign report that dogs can benefit from fiber in their diet, which can help with weight loss and supports beneficial bacteria.

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