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Animal of the Month: 13 nutty squirrel species [slideshow]

Most of these critters belong to the Sciurus genus which is from the ancient Greek, “skia” meaning shadow or shade, and “oura” for tail. Despite the variation within these different members of the same family, the evolutionary record shows that squirrels have actually changed very little over millions of years. If it ain’t broke…

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OUP Philosophy

Philosopher of the month: Jean-Jacques Rousseau [timeline]

This January, the OUP Philosophy team honors Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) as their Philosopher of the Month. Rousseau was a Swiss writer and philosopher, considered important for his contribution to modern European intellectual history and political philosophy. He is best known for Social Contract (1762) with its famous opening line: “Man is born free, but is everywhere in chains.”

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Strangest things: The peculiar Byzantine Empire [quiz]

From stories of saints and relics to the (not-so) mundane traditions of daily life, Byzantium has long been regarded as one of history’s most curious civilizations. Rising from the rubble of the Roman Empire, this complex Christian society was a birthplace of literature, art, and architecture. How much do you know about Byzantine culture?

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The 12 challenges of social work [slideshow]

The Grand Challenges for Social Work Initiative (GCSWI), spearheaded by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW), represents a major endeavor for the entire field of social work. We have identified 12 of the most persistent social issues, such as homelessness, social isolation, mass incarceration, and economic inequality, as well as generating interventions that can be taken to scale in the slideshow below.

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Life after death: posttraumatic growth after the loss of a loved one [video]

Can trauma lead to positive change? Posttraumatic growth is a phenomenon experienced by those who have undergone trauma. After facing a traumatic event, those who experience posttraumatic growth endure a period of psychological struggle before eventually finding a sense of personal growth. The process can be long and difficult, and isn’t experienced by everyone who survives a traumatic event.

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National Trivia Day [quiz]

Each year, National Trivia Day is observed across the United States on 4 January. To celebrate, we cracked open books from our What Everyone Needs to Know series and pulled some facts. From facts about advertising to tidbits about the human brain, put your knowledge and trivia skills to the test by taking our quiz below!

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Quotes of the year: 2017 [quiz]

2017 certainly was a year to remember – from Donald Trump being inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America, to the United Kingdom formally triggering Brexit with Article 50; from Britain releasing its first new pound coin in 30 years, to Facebook reaching two billion monthly users. Celebrities, politicians, and athletes were as vocal as ever last year when it came to current events, but do you know Theresa from Trump, or Putin from a pensioner? Which famous face tried to discourage middle-aged men from wearing Lycra, and who assumed their new role would be easier?

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Philosophy in 2017: a year in review [timeline]

This year a lot happened in the field of philosophy. As we come to the end of 2017, the OUP Philosophy team have had a look back at the past year and its highs and lows. We’ve compiled a selection of the key events, awards, anniversaries, and passings which went on to shape philosophy in 2017, from Alvin Plantinga receiving the Templeton Prize to the death of Derek Parfit.

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Animal of the Month: Reindeer around the world

We all know Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. But do you know about the different subspecies of reindeer and caribou inhabiting the snowy climes of the extremes of the northern hemisphere? As Santa Claus travels the globe, here’s an exploration of the possible types of reindeer that are pulling his sleigh.

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Test your knowledge of the English legal system

The English legal system has a long history of traditions and symbolism. Do you know your periwigs from your powdered wigs, your judicial dress from your barrister’s robes, and your green bags from your gavels? While some of the quirks and traditions of the English legal system may seem archaic, even bizarre, they from part of the fundamental constitution of UK culture and are therefore of relevance to anyone with an interest in it.

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How much do you know about cheetahs? [Quiz]

Today, 4 December, is International Cheetah Day! Cheetahs are easily distinguished from other cats due to their distinctive black “tear stain” markings that create two lines from eye to mouth, their black spots on tawny fur, and black rings at the end of their long tails. Cheetahs also stand apart from other large cats due to their loose and rangy frame, small head, high‐set eyes, and slightly flattened ears.

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Major medical incidents [timeline]

Major incidents are defined as any incident ‘that requires the mobilisation and use of extraordinary resources’; with the NHS further expanding the definition of such events as ‘any incident where the location, number, severity, or type of live casualties requires extraordinary resources’. There have been many major incidents throughout history that have required an ‘extraordinary’ response by emergency services, medical personnel, and government bodies.

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Misattributed quotations: do you know who really said it? [quiz]

The seemingly simple task of asking who said what has perhaps never been more difficult. In the digital age, quotations can be moved around, attributed, questioned, re-appropriated, and repeated in the blink of an eye. If someone is “widely quoted” as saying something and it sounds more or less right, many people take this to be sufficient proof of the quotation’s origin. With that said, do you really know who said what?

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The Great Terror in Soviet Ukraine: a timeline

Between the summer of 1937 and November 1938, the Stalinist regime arrested over 1.5 million people for “counterrevolutionary” and “antisoviet” activity and either summarily executed or exiled them to the Gulag. This was Stalin’s “Great Terror” and, contrary to popular belief, the largest number of victims were not elites or “Old Bolsheviks,” but common people. Below is a timeline of The Great Terror in Soviet Ukraine.

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Many rivers to cross – can the Ganges be saved?

The Ganges is known as a wondrous river of legend and history. After decades of false starts, scandals, and wasted money under previous governments, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a campaign in 2014 to clean the Ganges and save it for future generations. Find out more about the Ganges, its problems, and what can be done to save it with our interactive map.

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