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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Colliding Worlds

Do Look Up! Could a comet really kill us all?

When it comes to catastrophic events for humans, a big nasty asteroid or comet colliding with Earth tops the chart, and several movies have exploited this scenario. The recent Netflix movie “Don’t Look Up” did that again, but as a satire and a warning. It is widely considered an allegory for climate change, but let’s consider the astronomical scenario as presented. Is such a scenario scientifically sound?

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The Periodic Table: Its Story and its Significance by Eric Scerri

The tree of life and the table of the elements

Darwin’s tree of life and Mendeleev’s periodic table of the elements share a number of interesting parallels, the most meaningful of which lie in the central role that each plays in its respective domain.

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OUPblog

The top 10 science blog posts of 2021

From the evolution of consciousness to cosmic encounters, the Brain Health Gap to palliative medicine, 2021 has been a year filled with discovery across scientific disciplines. On the OUPblog, we have published blogs posts showcasing the very latest research and insights from our expert authors at the Press. Make sure you’re caught up with the best of science in 2021 with our top 10 blog posts of the year:

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A Concise Guide to Communication in Science and Engineering

How research abstracts succeed and fail

The abstract of a research article has a simple remit: to faithfully summarize the reported research. After the title, it’s the most read section of the article. Crucially, it makes the case to the reader for reading the article in full. Alas, not all abstracts succeed.

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How can we solve the energy crisis and mitigate climate change?

Symptoms of the looming climate crisis abound: 50-year extreme heat events happening every year, melting of polar ice sheets, forest fires that encircle the globe, tropical cyclones of greater size, intensity and, as was very evident in Ida’s recent visit to New York, unprecedented levels of precipitation.

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GigaScience

Increasing the diversity and depth of the peer review pool through embracing identity

The theme of Peer Review Week 2021 is “Identity.” From carrying out open peer review GigaScience makes sure that early career researchers and students emerge from the shadows of their supervisors and are credited when they jointly carry out reviews. New initiatives are promoting review of preprints as a way to improve skills and join editorial boards and reviewer pools. GigaScience is participating in the Preprint Reviewer Recruitment Network and encourages reviewers and other journals to join.

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What Everyone Needs to Know

What everyone needs to know about 2021 thus far

The year 2020 posed myriad challenges for everyone and now that we have reached the mid-way point of 2021, it is clear that, although the crises are not yet fully averted, the year thus far has already boasted some encouraging events.

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Oxford Research Encyclopedias: Education

Why climate change education needs more empathy

As citizens of this planet, we remain at an impasse when it comes to drastically changing the course of our environmental futures. At the heart of this impasse is climate change and the future of human and more-than-human survival. And yet, a significant key to potentially resolving climate change revolves around how we communicate with […]

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Earth’s wild years: the creative destruction of cosmic encounters

We earthlings enjoy the spectacle of shooting stars, small fragments of asteroids and comets that burn in sudden flashes upon entry in the Earth’s atmosphere. The largest of these fragments pose a limited threat to us as their mid-air blasts can produce local damage to buildings and infrastructures. Larger events are increasingly rarer, but their consequences can be devastating on a global scale.

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