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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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What is public debt? [podcast]

What do you think of when you hear the term “public debt?” If you’re familiar with the phrase, you might think about elected officials debating budgets and how to pay for goods and services. Or maybe it’s a vague concept you don’t fully understand.  

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The power of words [podcast]

We’re all familiar with the phrase “words have power” but in a political and cultural climate where we become more aware of the power that money, influence, and privilege have every day, how do people wield the power of words?

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The neuroscience of human consciousness [podcast]

How can the study of the human brain help us unravel the mysteries of life? Going a step further, how can having a better understanding of the brain help us to combat debilitating diseases or treat mental illnesses? In this episode of The Oxford Comment, we focused on human consciousness and how studying the neurological basis for human cognition can lead not only to better health but a better understanding of human culture, language, and society as well.

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How does ocean health impact life and livelihoods? [podcast]

In episode 62 of The Oxford Comment, we are joined by biological oceanographer Lisa Levin and Professor Ray Hilborn to better understand the multifold threats to our oceans posed by overfishing, climate change, and biodiversity loss, and the impact this will have on our lives and livelihoods.

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The SHAPE of things [podcast]

In January, Oxford University Press announced its support for SHAPE, a new collective name for the humanities, arts, and social sciences and an equivalent term to STEM. SHAPE stands for Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts for People and the Economy and aims to underline the value that these disciplines bring to society. Over the last year or so, huge attention has—rightly—been placed on scientific and technological advancement but does that mean we’re overlooking the contribution of SHAPE in finding solutions to global issues?

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The Hidden History of Coined Words

Do you know how these words were coined? [Quiz]

Successful word-coinages—those that stay in lingual currency for a good, long time—tend to conceal their beginnings. In The Hidden History of Coined Words, author and word sleuth Ralph Keyes explores the etymological underworld of terms and expressions and uncovers plenty of hidden gems.

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How can feed additives enhance forage-based diets of beef cattle? [Infographic]

Beef cattle production systems often rely on forage-based diets, consisting of pasture, as a low cost and widely accessible method for feeding herds. Whilst there are financial and practical benefits to forage-based diets, it is important to note that seasonal variations in pasture availability and nutritive quality can impact cattle performance and nutrition. So, are there any solutions to this?

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Environmental histories and potential futures [podcast]

This month marked the 51st observation of Earth Day, which has become one of the largest secular observances in the world. The discourse surrounding environmentalism exists primarily in the realms of science and politics, so we wanted to take this opportunity to talk to researchers who study humankind’s relation with the earth in a broader perspective.

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Government transparency and the freedom of information [podcast]

In 1967, the Freedom of Information Act was passed by the US Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. Barring certain types of exemptions, the FOIA allows for American citizens to request access to records from federal agencies. Similar laws exist around the world, though each differ based on their respective countries’ political and cultural situations.

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The Hidden History of Coined Words

Do you know the hidden histories of these words? [Quiz]

Successful word-coinages—those that stay in lingual currency for a good, long time—tend to conceal their beginnings. In “The Hidden History of Coined Words,” author and word sleuth Ralph Keyes explores the etymological underworld of terms and expressions and uncovers plenty of hidden gems. Take our quiz and see how many hidden histories you know!

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Animal Frontiers

Swine fevers: how to prevent and control the spread [infographic]

With the world’s attention set on the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns have been growing over the lack of concentrated efforts in preventing the current spread of swine fevers. Both Classical Swine Fever and African Swine Fever cause high mortality in pigs but are the result of two unrelated viruses and, if safe and efficacious prevention methods are not present, can cause significant socioeconomic impacts in endemic countries.

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