Academic, Professional and General

Academic,Professional ans General

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How does ocean health impact life and livelihoods?

In July we celebrate Marine Day, also known as “Ocean Day” or “Sea Day” in Japan. This national holiday was established to express gratitude for the gifts of the ocean and recognize its importance as a maritime nation. Earlier, on 8 June, the whole world observed World Oceans Day, a day that has been celebrated since 2008 with a different theme each year. The theme for 2021 was “Life and Livelihoods.”

Covering 71% of the earth’s surface, the ocean is home to a vast array of life—an estimated 2.2 million species—and provides livelihoods for 40 million people in the fishing industry. But many scientists warn that the health of our oceans is in decline, threatening these species and the humans who depend on them.

The threats to our oceans’ health are multifold, and include deep-sea mining, offshore drilling, and ocean acidification. To learn more about key ocean topics, explore our selection of six important books:

To better understand the threats posed by overfishing, climate change, and biodiversity loss, listen to biological oceanographer Lisa Levin of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and contributor to Natural Capital and Exploitation of the Deep Ocean, and Ray Hilborn, a professor at the University of Washington and co-author of Ocean Recovery: A Sustainable Future for Global Fisheries?share their expertise on a recent episode The Oxford Comment. You can also find the Nature article discussed in Ray Hilborn’s interview, which identifies bottom-trawling as a source of CO2 emissions, here.

Ocean Health: Life and Livelihoods (The Oxford Comment, Episode 62 on SoundCloud) (43’21’’)

(August 10 , 2020)

What makes human consciousness unique?

In Mind Shift: How Culture Transformed the Human Brain, John Parrington (Associate Professor in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Oxford) argues that social interaction and culture have deeply shaped the exceptional nature of human consciousness. He draws on the latest research on the human brain to show how it differs strikingly from those of other animals in its structure and function at a molecular and cellular level. And he argues that this ‘shift’, enlarging the brain, giving it great flexibility and enabling higher functions such as imagination, was driven by tool use, but especially by the development of one remarkable tool – language.

If you are interested in this topic, listen to the author’s insights about the relationship between the biology and psychology of human consciousness in a recent episode of The Oxford Side Comment. Parrington has also written a fascinating essay for OUPblog on what neuroscience can tell us about the mind of a serial killer.

(May 28 2021)

NEW 2020 Bestsellers
Which titles were the most popular in Japan last year? There was classic science writing, enigmatic short stories, and a pathbreaking business book. See the bestsellers.


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