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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Concepts of Elementary Particle Physics

The CERN Large Hadron Collider is back

The CERN Large Hadron Collider, the LHC, is the world’s highest-energy particle accelerator. It smashes together protons with energies almost 7,000 times their intrinsic energy at rest to explore nature at distances as small as 1 part in 100,000 of the size of an atomic nucleus. These large energies and small distances hold clues to fundamental mysteries about the origin and nature of the elementary particles that make up matter.

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Oxford Open Immunology

Were you prepared for this pandemic?

Did you have a stock of fitted, unexpired N95 masks in your closet and a six-month supply of non-perishable foods in the pantry? Pretty much nobody was fully prepared, including me. Were you relying on the healthcare system to keep supplies on hand? Should we expect better preparedness from ourselves and our society?

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French History

Democracy at work? France’s uncertain political future [long read]

In the last of our essays, we discuss the unexpected outcome of the legislative elections and look back on the electoral cycle as a whole. What does French politics look like after a series of fractious campaigns? And do the results offer any hope for the future?

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International Affairs

Global health diplomacy and North Korea in the COVID-19 era

The COVID-19 pandemic set off an unprecedented scale of border closures, a rise in health nationalism, and inequitable global distribution of vaccines, which have all exacerbated the humanitarian situation in low-income countries. This has led to calls for greater cooperation to support vulnerable populations beyond sovereign borders.

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International Affairs

A caution in exploring non-Western International Relations

The past quarter of a century has seen a burgeoning scholarship on the disciplinary history of International Relations (IR). By re-examining and revealing how past intellectuals and experts wrote about “the international,” this revisionist work on IR history generates a critical gaze at the assumptions on which IR stands today.

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Public Policy & Aging Report

Aduhelm and the politics of drug approval in the United States

During the past several decades, the US Congress has authorized billions of dollars for Alzheimer’s disease research, but this has not yet led to a major breakthrough in the treatment. It is therefore understandable why there was a great deal of excitement about a new drug being developed by Biogen for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, aducanumab (Aduhelm).

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A Concise Guide to Communication in Science and Engineering

The curious popularity of “however” in research articles

There are many ways to signal a change of direction in a piece of text, but the most common is by inserting a “but.” Alternatives such as “although,” “though,” “however,” “yet,” and “nevertheless” generally run a poor second. In research articles, though, the prevalence of “however” increases—especially in some disciplines.

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The Journals of Gerontology: Series A

We are what we breathe: environmental factors in biological ageing

Volcanic eruptions, floods, and heatwaves have forced us to think seriously about whether the air we breathe will allow us to age healthily. To try to answer this question, we selected a unique sample of five middle-income countries on four continents and used NASA satellite remote sensing data to assess the associations between long-term exposure to ambient PM2.5 and frailty in older populations.

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Journal of Animal Science

How avocados may boost dog health [infographic]

In a new Journal of Animal Science study, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign report that dogs can benefit from fiber in their diet, which can help with weight loss and supports beneficial bacteria.

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French History

What is the French presidential election about? [Long read]

The upcoming French presidential election presents something of a paradox. On the one hand, the outcome seems a foregone conclusion with Macron on course for re-election. But while such an overwhelming electoral narrative could easily be interpreted as a mere continuation of the status quo, nothing could be further from the truth.

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Music Therapy Perspectives

Managing the power of music to foster safety and avoid harm

Pulitzer Prize recipient and American playwright Lynn Nottage shared in a recent interview, “What music can do is get to the emotion with incredible economy and efficiency.” This capacity that music holds to reach in and connect to the wide range of emotions we experience as human beings can be a wonderful asset as it accesses those feelings we want to revisit and are ready to express. This becomes challenging and potentially harmful when it relates to unexpressed or unresolved emotions and experiences.

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