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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Science & Medicine

Cardiologists and nephrologists – the importance of collaboration

Bridging the gap between health problems of the heart and kidneys continues to be a talking point amongst specialists. Across both fields, there is clear evidence and recognition that kidney function can affect cardiac health. Kidney patients are vulnerable to a higher level of cardiovascular events as a risk factor and vice versa.

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What are environmental laws?

“Environmental law ensures that collective action in relation to environmental problems is authoritative and consistent with the rule of law and other principles of legitimate action.” – Elizabeth Fisher, Environmental Law: A Very Short Introduction

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Consent on campus [podcast]

As students head back to university to start their fall semester, the conversation of consent will no doubt surround them on campus. But what can actually be defined as consent? Where do students learn what consent actually means? From the time of adolescence, students are taught the notion of consent, which impacts how they view the term in their later life.

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A quarter century into the exoplanet revolution

In 1969, half a century ago, astronauts first landed on Earth’s sole moon. The first successful robotic landers touched down on the much more distant Venus and Mars in 1970 and 1976, respectively, and in the same decade spacecraft flybys provided the first, fleeting close-ups of Jupiter and Saturn. It was not until two decades […]

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Paradigms lost, wisdom gained

Tycho Brahe lived with a hand-crafted nose made of brass after his real one was sliced off in a duel. Mr. Brahe was a renowned 16th-century Danish astronomer and a great empirical scientist whose data were used to formulate Johannes Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion. But for our purposes, Tycho Brahe is especially interesting for something other than his prosthetic schnoz or his contributions to astronomy, but for a notable mistake. Confronted with his own irrefutable evidence that the known planets of his day (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) revolved around the Sun, Brahe was nonetheless committed to the prevailing biblical view of a geocentric universe. So he devised an ingenious model in which those planets indeed revolved around the Sun … but with the resulting conglomeration obediently circling a central and immobile Earth!

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Science, where are we going? From intellectual passion to a market-driven system

With over 10 million active researchers, more than 2 million scientific articles published each year, and an uncontrolled spread of bibliometric indicators, contemporary science is undergoing a profound change that is modifying consolidated procedures, ethical principles that were deemed inalienable and traditional mechanisms for the validation of scientific outputs that have worked successfully for the last century.

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Is Mars still alive?

Less than 50 days after this year’s World Space Week (4-10 October)—a global network of over 1,000 space-related organizations celebrating the role space plays in bringing the world together for peaceful purposes—NASA’s InSight spacecraft is scheduled to land near the Red Planet’s equator to take the planet’s pulse.

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Pain is real to patient and provider when empathy is present

“Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.” ― George Orwell, 1984 In 2004, the World Health Organization in cooperation with the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and the […]

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Is the American special education system failing children with autism?

We sat down with Dr. Bryna Siegel and asked about the effectiveness of the modern special education system. In the video below, Dr. Siegel discusses how the push for academic inclusion may actually be putting children with autism at a disadvantage, and offers advice to help parents and educators build better futures for these students as they enter adulthood.

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Animal of the month: 8 facts about rabbits

Popular as pets, considered lucky by some, and widely recognised as agricultural nuisances, rabbits are commonplace all over the world. Their cute, fluffy exterior hides the more ingenious characteristics of this burrowing herbivore, including specially-adapted hind legs, extra incisors, and prolific breeding capabilities. Whilst rabbits thrive in most areas, certain species face the common struggle of their specialist habitats being destroyed, and myxomatosis has devastated rabbit populations in the past, at one point destroying 99% of the rabbit population of the United Kingdom.

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Dental students and the smell of fear

Human communication takes many forms, but picturing humans using chemical mechanisms to send messages leaves us skeptical. However, this concept becomes more plausible when we think of communication mediated via pheromones in animals.

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