An internal battle is currently underway within the European Union (EU) about the best way to understand the Western Balkans. To vastly over-simplify: one view is that the Western outside what we can truly think of as Europe, and will always be unstable and backward; the opposing view is that the Western Balkans is part… Read more »
Author: Torkel Brekke
Can We Combat Conspiracy Theories about Pandemics?
Did you know that HIV was created by the US government in order to oppress the country’s African American population? Or that researchers engineered the Zika virus to ruin Brazil’s hosting of the 2016 Olympics? Or that coronavirus is linked to the roll-out of 5G mobile networks? This piece is part of our blog series Beyond… Read more »
Eid Celebrations and Muslim Generosity
Today is Eid, the Muslim festival that marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. Families and friends will gather today to enjoy good food and each other’s company. Many Norwegian Muslim children look forward to celebrating Eid, and for many people the social aspects are just as important as the festival’s religious significance…. Read more »
Could There Be War in South Asia?
A sinister mixture of geopolitical changes, nationalist sentiments, and election campaigns now has the potential to generate one of the world’s most dangerous security crises. On 14 February, a terrorist attack in Pulwama in the Indian state Jammu & Kashmir killed more than 40 Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) paramilitary troopers. This was the… Read more »
I Am a Friend of Israel. And I Can’t Accept Its Indiscriminate Violence Against Palestinians in Gaza
The political leadership in Israel often uses the concept of “friend” and “enemy.” Other countries also use those concepts from time to time, but it seems that they are particularly prevalent in Israeli political language. For instance, Prime Minister Netanyahu talks of “true friend” Donald Trump, “close friend” Narendra Modi of India, while other leaders… Read more »
“Fake Science” Has Arrived
How did we get into a situation where “the press is lying” and “research is rubbish”? Society is now experiencing a “storm of distrust” that is “powerful and unpredictable”, with growing resistance to established institutions, if we are to believe the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, published in January. This distrust also affects research. Climate researchers… Read more »
On Bullshit and Research
Researchers who write articles or give interviews must be given approval rights over how their material is presented. My year as an academic has been bookended by a couple of awkward encounters between my own research and a new media reality. The year has also provided a rich crop of angry messages from strangers in… Read more »
Open Access – Our Academic Responsibility
The Norwegian government wants Norway to be a forerunner in the effort to ensure open access to published research. To this end, the government established a working group at the start of 2016, assigned with the task of compiling guidelines for open access to scientific papers. We, the working group, submitted our recommendation on 14… Read more »