Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

The evolution of humans [infographic]

Where did we come from? How did we become human? What’s the origin of our species? It is hard to imagine our understanding of humanity without, of course, Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Our own family tree testifies to this age-old pattern of extinction, adaption, and evolution.

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Over a century of great judicial writing [infographic]

Over the last century, many judges have paved the way for great judicial writing. In Point Taken: How to Write Like the World’s Best Judges, author Ross Guberman examines the cases and opinions of 34 acclaimed judges, focusing on their use of figurative language, vivid examples, grammar, and other writing techniques.

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Gods and religion in Shakespeare’s work [infographic]

Shortly after her coronation in 1558 Queen Elizabeth I reasserted and maintained royal supremacy within the English church, thus confirming her power as a Protestant leader. Shakespeare’s writing flourished under her reign, when Catholic and Protestant doctrines developed distinct methods of worship, mediation, and, perhaps most significantly, power and authority.

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The reality of DUI prevention laws [infographic]

Do DUI prevention laws actually deter driving under the influence? Authors Lorne Tepperman and Nicole Meredith argue that punishments like fines, imprisonment, and license suspension are not as effective as we like to think. They have found that people are more likely to be changed by constructive influences (e.g., alcohol counseling) and social taboos than they are by threats of punishment.

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How is snow formed? [infographic]

Every winter the child inside us hopes for snow. It brings with it the potential for days off work and school, the chance to make snowmen, create snow angels, and have snowball fights with anyone that might happen to walk past. But as the snow falls have you ever wondered how it is formed? What goes on in the clouds high above our heads to make these snowflakes come to life?

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Wealth, status, and currency in Shakespeare’s world [infographic]

In 1623, one kilogram of tobacco was roughly five times more expensive than Shakespeare’s newly published First Folio. The entire collection, which cost only £1, contained thirty-six of his works, many of which incorporate 16th- and 17th-century notions of status, wealth, and money. Most of his characters are garbed in colors and fabrics befitting their social standing, and he frequently presents foreign currencies alongside English coins.

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Women onstage and offstage in Elizabethan England

Though a Queen ruled England, gender equality certainly wasn’t found in Elizabethan society. Everything from dress to employment followed strict gender roles, and yet there was a certain amount of room for play. There are several cases of (in)famous women who dressed as men and crossed the bounds of “acceptable behavior.”

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How and why are scientific theories accepted?

November 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. This theory is one of many pivotal scientific discoveries that would drastically influence our understanding of the world around us.

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How conservative are married priests?

Following the Episcopal Church’s 1976 decision to ordain women, Catholic leaders in America and Rome were approached by Episcopal clergy who opposed the decision and sought conversion as a result.

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Announcing the Place of the Year 2015 shortlist: vote for your pick

Thank you to those of you who participated in the voting period for our Place of the Year 2015 longlist. The top five contenders have moved on to the next round into our shortlist, and we need your help again. If you’re interested about each place and why each has been nominated for Place of the Year 2015, read back on our previous blog post. Vote for your pick in this year’s shortlist by 30 November. The Place of the Year 2015 will be announced 3 December.

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The legal profession [infographic]

The legal profession has endured many changes, particularly in the last ten years. As the price of education continues to increase, competition becomes stiffer and jobs are harder to come by. Law schools are producing more and more graduates, and while big law firms continue to dissolve, more students turn to jobs in business.

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Which persona are you?

The US Supreme Court has been a vessel for controversy, debate, and deliberation. With a variety of cases filtering in and out of the Supreme Court each year, one would suspect that the decisions would be varied.

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Shale oil and gas in the United States [infographic]

The growth of United States’ shale oil and gas production over the last decade has been nothing short of phenomenal. Already the premier natural gas producer, Already the premier natural gas producer, the United States is poised to surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia as the largest oil producer and will likely become a net exporter of both oil and gas within a decade or more.

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The soda industry exposed [infographic]

Although soda companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are recognized around the world – the history, politics, and nutrition of these corporations are not as known. In her latest book, Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning), Marion Nestle exposes the truth behind this multi-billion dollar industry. Check out these hard hitting facts and see how much you actually know about the soda industry.

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Shakespeare on screen [infographic]

Since the advent of film and television production, Shakespeare’s plays have been adapted, re-imagined, and performed on screen hundreds of times. Although many early Shakespeare adaptations remained faithful to his work, over time writers and directors selected only certain characters, plot lines, conflicts, or themes into their films.

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