This week on the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center (WTC) disaster, we are provided with an opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned in the aftermath of this event and consider what can be done to reduce the health impacts of future disasters. Our latest study of cancer incidence among rescue and recovery workers exposed to the WTC disaster on 9 September 2001 demonstrates the value of ongoing surveillance of chronic health effects.
On 18 March 2020, schools in Finland closed. On 14 May 2020, they reopened successfully. Why was Finland successful in transitioning to distance education and then back to face-to-face learning and teaching?
Science denial became deadly in 2020. Many political leaders failed to support what scientists knew to be effective prevention measures. Over the course of the pandemic, people died from COVID-19 still believing it did not exist.
Every year on 9 May, Russia observes Victory Day as its most important national holiday. It celebrates the end of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) by staging events that dwarf those of any other country. But Victory Day is not just about the past. It is also about national identity in the present, and as this identity project has changed, so has the memory of the war.
There is a clear sex and gender gap in outcomes for brain health disorders across the lifespan, with strikingly negative outcomes for women. The “Brain Health Gap” highlights and frames inequalities in all areas across the translational spectrum from bench-to-bedside and from boardroom-to-policy and economics.
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.
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 […]
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.
Multiple mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (“mTBIs”) can put military service members at an elevated risk of cognitive impairment. Service members and veterans were enrolled in a trial with a new type of brain training program, based on the science of brain plasticity and the discovery that intensive, adaptive, computerized training—targeting sensory speed and accuracy—can rewire the brain to improve cognitive function. The trial found that the training program significantly improved overall cognitive function.
On 29 January 2021, Rochester police responded to an incident involving a Black nine-year-old girl, who they were told might be suicidal. An extended police body camera video of the incident shows the agitated child, her mother, and an officer attempting to de-escalate the situation.
A long held misunderstanding of stellar brightness is being corrected, thanks to a new study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society based on International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly Resolution B2.
What role should literature have in the interdisciplinary study of emotion? The dominant answer today seems to be “not much.” Scholars of literature of course write about emotion; but fundamental questions about what emotion is and how it works belong elsewhere: to psychology, cognitive science, neurophysiology, philosophy of mind. In Shakespeare’s time the picture was different. What the period called “passions” were material for ethics and for that part of natural philosophy dealing with the soul; but it was rhetoric that offered the most extensive accounts of the passions.
When we open our eyes in the morning, we take for granted that we will consciously see the world in all of its dazzling variety. The immediacy of our conscious experiences does not, however, explain how we consciously see.
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.
The nineteenth century saw the publication of several books explaining how magical effects and spectral appearances could be performed using the science of optics. It started in 1831, when Sir David Brewster (famed for his discovery of Brewster polarization and inventing the kaleidoscope) published “Letters on Natural Magic.” In this book, Brewster showed how to produce images of ghosts using partially silvered mirrors and by using a magic lantern to project images onto screens or onto clouds of vapor.
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.