Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

socrel

Measuring belief?

Pop quiz: What do standing in a long line outside a temple on New Year’s Eve, kneeling alone in a giant cathedral, and gathering around with 10-15 friends in an apartment room all have in common? It’s kind of an unfair question but the answer is that each of these would qualify equally as a statistical instance of “having prayed” despite the glaringly different social context and relational ramifications of the action itself.

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Christopher Marlowe: the quintessential Renaissance man

Christopher Marlowe was born in February of 1564, the same year as Shakespeare. He was the son of a Canterbury shoemaker, and attended the King’s School there. With fellowship support endowed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, young Marlowe matriculated at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge University in 1580 and received the BA degree in 1584.

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9780199687756

Man’s best friend: the pig

Cute and heartwarming videos of dogs fill the internet. My favourite is the bacon dog tease, but others catch my attention because they reveal extraordinary animal behaviours. For example, there are many of dogs helping other animals, like opening the back door to let in a friend. Dogs are our best animal friends, but there is a new contender. The pig might not be agile enough for Frisbees, or into making ‘guilty faces’, but like dogs, might save your life in the future.

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Crimes without criminals

There are crimes without victims and crimes without criminals. Financial crime belongs to the second type, as responsibilities for crises, crashes, bubbles, misconduct, or even fraud, are difficult to establish. The historical process that led to the disappearance of offenders from the financial sphere is fascinating.

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9780199914081

Why the Logan Act should be repealed

Congress should repeal the Logan Act. Modern, globalized communications have destroyed any remaining rationale for this outdated law. The Logan Act today potentially criminalizes much routine (and constitutionally-protected) speech of US citizens. During the presidency of John Adams, Dr. George Logan, a private citizen, engaged in freelance diplomacy with the government of revolutionary France.

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The enduring legacy of François Truffaut

On 6 February 2017, François Truffaut (1932-1984) would have been 85 years old. As it was, he died tragically from a brain tumor at the age of 52, thus depriving the world of cinema of one of its brightest stars. His legacy, nevertheless, continues, being particularly evident in his influence on the current generation of filmmakers.

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JNCI

Reconsidering prostate cancer screening

In 2011, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued its controversial draft recommendation against measuring prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in blood to screen for prostate cancer, claiming the test didn’t save lives. USPSTF is an independent panel of national experts convened by Congress to make evidence-based recommendations on preventive care.

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Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics

Party movements in the 2016 US election: A whisper of Weimar?

The role of party movements in the 2016 presidential election reflected the electorate’s deep discontent and confirmed the endemic problems faced by both major political parties. The Democrats failed to articulate a unifying and persuasive message; while, the Republicans failed to control the candidate nomination process. Out of those failures, party movements, on the Left and Right found space to operate.

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9780199382118

President Trump: shortcuts with executive orders?

Every President is attracted by the idea of making public policy by unilaterally issuing an executive order — sounds easy and attractive. Get someone to draft it, add your signature, and out it goes. No need to spend time negotiating with lawmakers.

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Neuroscience of Consciousness cover

Can you learn while you sleep?

We will all spend about one third of our lifetime asleep, deprived of this precious ability to act and to react. During these long idle hours, little is perceived from the external world and little is remembered. For some, sleep is a refuge. For others, it is just a saddening waste. Yet, all animals, from fruit flies to humans, need to sleep and scientists have proven, time and time again, the variety of benefits that sleep has on the body and most importantly, on the mind.

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The magic of politics: the irrationality of rational people

The reason the life of ‘the Amazing Randi’ made me stop and think? Because I saw in the interactions between his charlatans and swindlers and the people they duped the same connection that I see between large sections of the public and the populist politicians who are emerging across Europe, offering a combination of nationalism, xenophobia, and snake oil. Their promises make very little sense.

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Counting Bodies

Population will hit eight billion. Here’s why it scares people

Any day now, global population will hit 7.5 billion. Experts predict that we humans will reach eight billion in number sometime around the year 2024. Does that fact fill you with trepidation? Chances are that it does, even though it’s only a number, after all. “Eight billion” says nothing about innovations in agriculture or renewable energy technologies, and certainly nothing about global social justice.

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Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics

Democracy for losers

Democracy is under threat everywhere. Growing numbers of citizens prefer authoritarian ideas, and politicians nurturing those wishes are on the rise in Hungary, Poland, France, Turkey, Germany, and the United States—to mention only the most salient examples. By now pundits everywhere have expressed concern about “populism” and the cementation of “illiberal” or “defected” democracies.

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