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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Science & Medicine

Cyntoia Brown and the legacy of racism for children in the legal system

In 2004, 16-year-old Cyntoia Brown shot and killed a man who paid her for sex – a position she was forced into by an older man who took advantage of her. Brown never denied shooting the man (in fact, she was the one who called the police the next day), but she claimed it was […]

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How the healthcare system is failing people with eating disorders

One death every 52 minutes occurs in the United States as a direct result of an eating disorder, according to a report by the Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders, the Academy for Eating Disorders, and Deloitte Access Economics. I have studied eating disorders for over 30 years, and I was shocked by this […]

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How to prepare students for jobs in the 21st century

A common goal for educators is to identify, and then teach, cognitive skills that are needed for the workplace. In 2017 a group of investigators at the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey, investigated which skills are needed as a result of the rapid changes occurring as the United States shifted from an industrial […]

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Raising a teenager with an eating disorder in a pandemic

Many people have already written about the difficulties we’re having in the midst of COVID-19 – they are numerous and far-reaching, some as insidious as the disease itself. As researchers and clinicians in the field of eating disorders, we are now challenged to consider how we can best help those who are quarantined with a […]

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Nine titles on the frontiers of psychology research [reading list]

What is the responsibility of psychologists to their clients and their communities during times of crisis? Annually, the American Psychological Association meets to present the research and best practices to meet the needs of the profession and the broader world.  These nine new titles present the latest, most advanced research to create a bridge between […]

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The ethics of exploiting hope during a pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had enormous negative effects on people around the globe, including death and long-term health impacts, economic hardships including loss of savings, businesses, and careers, and the emotional costs of physical separation from friends and loved ones. Since the first emergence of COVID-19, people have hoped that these harms could be contained […]

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Exploring hypothetical thinking

What is hypothetical thinking? We do it continually. Consider making a decision, from choosing what to eat to choosing what to do about a dangerous disease. In deciding between options, you have to consider each of them, working out what’s likely to happen if  you take it, then compare the results. A natural human way to […]

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Smartphones are pacifiers for tough times

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated consumers’ reliance on new technologies in almost all aspects of their lives, from how they shop, to how they work, to how they communicate with colleagues and loved ones. While a number of technologies have played an important role in this transformation—such as the growth of reliance on video conferencing—among […]

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How water conflicts hurt marginalized populations

There are 286 international transboundary river basins that are shared by 151 countries. These basins are the source for water as well as livelihoods to 2.8 billion people. In many of these places the already vulnerable and marginalised are at great risk due to problems managing water. Sudden, sharp changes in these basins are not […]

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Charles Darwin’s five-year journey [timeline]

Charles Darwin is most known for his journey to the Galapagos Islands, and for the work he published around the theory of evolution, The Origin of Species, as a result of that trip. And though his time in the Galapagos was vital to Darwin’s work, he also visited many other places, a small selection of […]

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How John Harrison invented the first portable precision timekeeper

It’s been over 50 years now since Colonel Humphrey Quill wrote his biography (1966) of the great pioneer of the marine chronometer, John Harrison (1693–1776). Since then, there has been a increasing interest in Harrison and the events surrounding his inventions and discoveries. Indeed, over the years, this interest has caused something of a stir […]

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Six books to help us understand eating disorders

Some 70 million people worldwide have an eating disorder and, with the prevalence of disordered eating on the rise,  it’s clear that this presents a significant public health issue. Despite this, many myths and misconceptions abound that are significant barriers to both treatment and public understanding of eating disorders. Anyone can develop an eating disorder, regardless of […]

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How COVID-19 could help social science researchers

The US passed 2.5 million Covid-19 cases, there are more than 10 million confirmed cases worldwide, and global deaths passed 500,000 at the end of June. We face unprecedented challenges during this global pandemic and we may see profound and permanent changes to how we do things. Surveys and digital trace data have been used […]

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How we experience pandemic time

COVID-19 refers not only to a virus, but to the temporality of crisis. We live “in times of COVID” or “corona time.” We yearn for the “Before Time” and prepare for the “After Time.” Where earlier assessments of pandemic time focused on rupture, we are now reckoning with an open-ended, uncertain future. This endeavour would […]

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Testing Einstein’s theory of relativity

Albert Einstein is often held up as the epitome of the scientist. He’s the poster child for genius. Yet he was not perfect. He was human and subject to many of the same foibles as the rest of us. His personal life was complicated, featuring divorce and extramarital affairs. Though most of us would sell […]

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The scientific mysteries that led to Einstein’s E=mc^2 equation

Scientists deal with mysteries. As Richard Feynman once commented:  “Science must remain a continual dialog between skeptical inquiry and a sense of inexplicable mystery”. Three examples: it is profoundly mysterious as to why mathematics can so accurately describe our physical world, and even predict events, such as the motion of the planets or the propagation […]

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