Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Feeling me, feeling you: sensory and social difficulties in autism?

Individuals with ASD experience tremendous social difficulties. They often fail to take turns in conversations and have a hard time maintaining and understanding age-appropriate relationships such as being in love, or having a friend. On top of that, many individuals with ASD are over- and/or under-sensitive to sensory information. Some feel overwhelmed by busy environments such as supermarkets; others dislike being touched, or are less sensitive to pain.

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Academy schools and the transformation of the English education system

Increasing the quality and quantity of an individual’s education is seen by many as a panacea to many social ills: stagnating wages, increases in inequality, and declines in technological progress might be countered by policies aimed at increasing the skills of those who are in danger of falling behind in the modern labour market.

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Nat Turner’s legacy

Nate Parker’s movie The Birth of a Nation, which opens in Europe this month, tells the semi-fictionalized story of Nat Turner, an enslaved man who led a short-lived rebellion in rural southeast Virginia in August 1831. The movie focuses on Turner’s life before the rebellion; demonstrating one man’s breaking point sparked by the witnessing of extraordinary brutality.

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Journal of Law and the Biosciences

Why is forensic bitemark identification likely to be abolished as a form of trial evidence?

The public holds exaggerated views of the quality of the scientific foundations of a surprising number of forensics sciences, as well as of the courts’ scrutiny of that evidence. The most significant of the weaknesses were made plain in a report by the (U.S.) National Academy of Sciences (NAS), which concluded: “The bottom line is simple: In a number of forensic science disciplines, forensic science professionals have yet to establish either the validity of their approach or the accuracy of their conclusions.”

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MRAS

Dark matter, black holes, and dwarf spheroidal galaxies

Our current understanding of the Universe suggests that it is composed of an invisible component called “dark matter”. This mysterious type of matter represents more than 25% of the entire matter and energy of which the Universe is made. The matter that we are used to “seeing” in our everyday life and that represents the building blocks for both our bodies and stars that shine in the sky, represents only 5% of the Universe.

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Conversation starters in music therapy research

Conversation starters are questions and prompts intended to get people talking. Although often thought of in the context of a dinner party or professional meeting as a way to initiate dialogue with a stranger, conversation starters can also be thought of as ideas that stimulate discussions or impact you in a way that helps you grow both personally and professionally.

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JNCI

Animals and transmissible cancers

How often is cancer transmitted between animals? In the past few years researchers have discovered more transmissible cancers in nature. Initially thought to be contained within a respective host species, new research shows that sometimes even cross-species cancer transmission can occur. With transmissible cancer, instead of remaining in the singular organism or host, the cancer transfers between animals.

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oxford journals

Fighting the stigma of HIV and AIDS

To mark World AIDS Day 2016 we asked people working and researching in the field how they think views on HIV and AIDS have change over the past ten years, focusing in particular on outdated stereotypes, challenging myths, and the developing positivity towards finding a cure. In addition, we have provided a series of articles from a selection of journals on the topic of HIV – freely available to read until 1 March 2017.

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Are we responsible for our lifestyle diseases?

Within the last couple of decades more and more research has shown a number of diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, to be associated with particular lifestyle characteristics such as smoking, lack of exercise, and over-eating. Confronted with such research, it is timely to raise questions about individual responsibility for getting those diseases (or the increased risk thereof), and to think closer about issues such as blame, stigma, and economic burdens.

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oral history review

A note of thanks, a dose of sanity

2016 has had far more than its share of horribleness. Many of us are ready to leave this year far behind, even as we’re terrified of what the coming years may bring. At a time when many people are being told that their voices and lives don’t matter, we think oral historians have a vital role to play in amplifying silenced voices and helping us all imagine a better future.

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Black Friday: the dark side of scarcity promotions

Does simply encountering a scarcity promotion, such as a newspaper or television advertisement or online pop-up ad, cultivate seeds of aggressive behavior in consumers and predispose them to act in a violent manner? Is marketplace aggression not merely the outcome of crowds during shopping holidays, but activated beforehand at ad exposure?

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British Medical Bulletin

The future of the NHS – let’s not lose sight of what is important

There is general agreement that the NHS is currently facing unprecedented challenges. Many of these challenges face all health services: increasing demand for healthcare arising from technological developments, demographic changes, rising expectations, and the increase in chronic diseases that require long-term coordinated care. In terms of public spending, the United Kingdom has entered a period of austerity.

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An alternative to the Electoral College

Over the last few days, as anyone interested in the American presidential election can tell you – and it seems everyone is –, the 2016 election is one of the few in history with two different winners: one candidate appears to have won the popular vote and the other has won the Electoral College vote. As of this writing, according to the latest tally the popular vote leader is Hillary Clinton by over 337,000 votes.

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What are the unexpected consequences of shorter work hours?

For many, work is increasingly interfering with their home life. Because of this, some countries are proposing shorter work weeks. But does this mean more productivity? Do shorter work weeks result in less work done? Social Forces Editor Arne L. Kalleberg caught up with Leah Ruppanner and David J. Maume to examine and discuss current debates arguing for shorter work hours.

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Combatting antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance continues to pose a major threat to public health. Wrong or incorrect use of antibiotics may cause bacteria to become resistant to future antibiotic treatments, leading to the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance in European hospitals and communities. European Antibiotic Awareness Day is held on the 18 November each year

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