Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Diving into the OHR Archive

One of my favorite tasks as the OHR’s Social Media Coordinator is interviewing people for the blog. I get to talk to authors of recent articles from the OHR, oral historians using the power of conversation to create change, and a whole lot more.

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Can narcolepsy research help solve one of the greatest medical mysteries of the 20th century?

In late 1916, while the world was entrenched in the Great War, two physicians on opposing sides of the conflict started to encounter patients who presented with bizarre neurological signs. Most notably, the patients experienced profound lethargy, and would sleep for abnormally long periods of time. One of the physicians, Constantin von Economo, was at the Psychiatric-Neurological Clinic at the University of Vienna.

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A new view of authoritarianism and partisan polarization

Democrats and Republicans are increasingly polarized. Partisan strength is up, feelings toward the two parties are more extreme, and partisans are more intolerant of the other side. What gives rise to the partisan divide in American politics? One prominent theory is that Democrats and Republicans are polarized today because they differ psychologically. Republicans have become more authoritarian and Democrats less so.

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How long should children fast for clear fluids before general anaesthesia?

Anyone who has had a general anaesthetic will be well aware of the need to fast beforehand. ‘Nil by mouth’ (NBM) or ‘NPO’ (nil per os, os being the Latin for mouth) instructions are part of everyday life on pre-operative wards. This withholding of food and liquids before a general anaesthetic is necessary is because of the risk of the full stomach emptying all or parts of its contents into the patient’s lungs.

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Top tips for a healthy heart

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common cause of death in the UK, and is also a major killer worldwide. CHD is caused by fatty deposits building up in a person’s coronary arteries and can lead to symptoms including heart attacks, angina and heart failure. The chances are that you’re already aware of many of the key contributing lifestyle factors which cause people to develop CHD

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Organ Donation Week: A reading list

In light of Organ Donation Week (4-11th September 2017), we have drawn together a collection of articles around the same theme. Our reading list includes articles and chapters which inform, showcase, and discuss the latest research, key issues, and cases of interest in organ donation. The collection offers a sample of the breadth of content available on this topic

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“The law is my data”: The socio-legal in environmental law

When I left practice to start my PhD, I was made to do a master’s degree in research methods as a condition of my doctoral funding. The ‘made’ in that first sentence is wholly intentional. I was quite clear, and quite vocal, that I had no interest in, and no need to study, methods. I knew exactly what form my PhD was going to take: an analysis of EU chemicals regulation using a new governance lens.

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What hearing voices reveals about hallucination and speech perception

Hearing things that other people do not – in other words, an auditory hallucination – is something that approximately 5-15% of the population experience at some point in their lives. For people with a psychiatric disorder such as schizophrenia, the experience of auditory hallucinations can often be bewildering and upsetting. However, for some people unusual sensory experiences can be an important and meaningful part of their lives.

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Working class narratives in the twenty first century

With school getting back in session, today on the blog we are exploring how instructors are using oral history in the classroom. The piece below, from filmmaker and UCLA Lecturer Virginia Espino explores the power of oral history to connect students to their campus community, and to help them collaboratively rethink what working class identity means in the modern era.

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Microbiology in the city of arts and sciences

This year saw the biggest Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS) Congress to date, with over 2,700 delegates from 85 countries, including Australia, North America, and South Korea gathering in Valencia, Spain. Not only was it the biggest, it was also the most engaged; over 3,000 abstracts were submitted, over 220 delegates received FEMS Congress Grants to be able to attend, and nearly 250 speakers.

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What causes psychogenic amnesia?

The media love it. Films and novels fictionalise it. TV and newspapers want to follow a real patient around. They virtually always get it wrong (and the worst thing you can do for such a patient is put him/her on television). Psychogenic amnesia (also known as dissociative or functional amnesia) still intrigues and fascinates. In 1926, Agatha Christie, the acclaimed novelist, disappeared for 11 days.

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The weight of the world: social workers’ experiences of social suffering

Long-standing concerns around the bureaucratic and often unhelpful nature of children and families social work were brought to a head in Prof Eileen Munro’s (2011) review of child protection. With colleagues, I recently completed a project involving social work academics and children and families social workers from neighbouring local authorities to try and facilitate such a shift in child protection cultures.

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Measuring for change: the road to smoke-free prisons

One large occupational group that has been required to work within smoking-permitted environments in the United Kingdom is prison staff. Almost three-quarters of prisoners are current smokers, levels not seen amongst men in the general population since around 1960. Not surprisingly, many prison staff report experiencing high levels of smoke in some areas, such as when they enter smokers’ cells and adjacent areas

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Hitchcock and Shakespeare

There are two adjectives we commonly use when discussing artists and artistic things that we feel deserve serious attention and appreciation: Shakespearean and Hitchcockian. These two terms actually have quite a bit in common, not only in how and why they are used but also in what they specifically refer to, and closely examining the ways in which Hitchcock is Shakespearean can be very revealing.

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What can baker’s yeast tell us about drug response?

Pharmaceutical drugs are an integral part of healthcare, but a treatment regimen that works for one individual may not produce the same benefit for another. Additionally, a given drug dose may be well-tolerated by some, but produce undesired (and sometimes severe) adverse effects in others. In the United States (with similar statistics in other parts of the world), serious drug adverse reactions account for over 6% of hospitalisations

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