Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Multimedia

A visual history of the New York Crystal Palace [slideshow]

When New York’s Crystal Palace opened in 1853, it quickly became one of the most celebrated landmarks in the city. But five years later, the building was gone—engulfed in flames and reduced to a heap of smoldering debris. The below photographs from The Finest Building in America recapture the sensation and spectacle behind the New York Crystal Palace: a building that mattered so much to antebellum Americans and New Yorkers, yet was never rebuilt.

Read More
OUP Philosophy

Landmark moments for women in philosophy [timeline]

This March, the OUP Philosophy team are celebrating Women in Philosophy. Throughout time, women have had to fight for their place in history, academia, and the philosophy discipline. To honour their contributions, we will be highlighting women and their achievements in the field of philosophy all throughout Women’s History Month.

Read More

The OUP citizenship quiz

Far from fading into obscurity as the world moves towards a more interconnected and globalized future, the concept of citizenship is enjoying something of a renaissance. It is an almost constant feature in world news, as nations move to secure their positions by either welcoming or denying new citizens to cross their borders, and the contentious issue of citizenship for sale gains evermore traction.

Read More

Animal of the Month: Interactive guide to polar bear anatomy

From white fur to large paws, we all know what the largest bear species in the world looks like, but how much do you actually know about the anatomy of polar bears? So far this month, we have explored how climate change affects our Animal of the Month. Now, we would like to take some time to appreciate the anatomy of the polar bear, particularly the ways in which the bear has adapted to its environment and lifestyle.

Read More
OUP Philosophy

How well do you know George Berkeley? [quiz]

This February, the OUP Philosophy team honours George Berkeley (1685-1753) as their Philosopher of the Month. Berkeley was born in Ireland but travelled Europe, lived in America, and eventually settled in London. He is best known for his work in metaphysics on idealism and immaterialism. How much do you know about the life and work of George Berkeley?

Read More

The future of precision medicine

In April 2003, researchers from the Human Genome Project published the result of their painstaking work; a complete sequencing of the human genome. This ground-breaking feat has ushered in the current “post genomic” era of medicine, whereby medical treatment is becoming increasingly personalised towards an individual’s specific lifestyle and genetic makeup.

Read More

What happens when a volcano erupts?

Volcanoes are incredibly complex geological systems. They are capable of generating many dangerous effects in the form of lava follows, fallout, and lahars – as well as associated hazards such as seismic shocks, tsunamis, or landslides. About 500 million people currently live in regions of the world directly subject to volcanic risk, and it is estimated that about 250,000 persons died during the past two centuries as a direct consequence of volcanic eruptions.

Read More
OUP Philosophy

Philosopher of the month: George Berkeley [timeline]

This February, the OUP Philosophy team honours George Berkeley (1685-1753) as their Philosopher of the Month. An Irish-born philosopher, Berkeley is best known for his contention that the physical world is nothing but a compilation of ideas. This is represented by his famous aphorism esse est percipi (“to be is to be perceived”).

Read More

Seven key skills for managing science [video]

“Management” is a word we often associate with commerce and the business community, but the act of managing is common to most human activity, including academia. While there is a myriad of tools available for learning how to manage business, there are few resources out there which discuss the skills needed to manage academic scientific research.

Read More

Interpreting a new work by John Rutter

The young violinist Kerson Leong looks back with affection on his preparations for the premiere and subsequent recording of a work by John Rutter. The work, featuring a solo violin part of great lyricism and transparency, was moulded by the composer to fit Leong’s particular playing style.

Read More

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…

Read More
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.”

Read More

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?

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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!

Read More