“Nepotism is not a substitute for friendship”: Union Access Officer resigns amid controversial appointments

An Oxford Union Access Officer, Beth Chamberlain, resigned her position on 12 July, condemning the society as “full of pseudo-politicos and sycophants” and having been left feeling “abused and taken advantage of” by colleagues and friends on committee in her letter of resignation, obtained by The Oxford Student. To read her full letter, click here. In […]

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Are artificial intelligence voice assistants reinforcing gender bias?

Artificial intelligence voice assistants like Siri and Alexa are reflecting, reinforcing, and spreading gender bias, a recent United Nations report suggested. The UNESCO report, entitled “I’d Blush if I Could”, explores the consequences of the spread of smart speakers and voice assistants, particularly the presentation of many of these platforms as female. “With many AI […]

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Homelessness lessons from Helsinki

Image description: Helsinki Cathedral at sunset, 2016 This week, I came across a report by The Guardian into Helsinki’s approach to solving homelessness. The report praised the radical approach, named Housing First, taken by Helsinki’s authorities with the intent of solving the homelessness crisis that the city faced. Inevitably, I thought of our city of Oxford […]

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The Augar report will not ease the difficulties of university funding

Image Description: Edinburgh students protest against university fees in London Education, education, education. The rallying cry of New Labour still echoes through political discourse today, perhaps more than ever, as students remain unsatisfied with the provision of university education. Oxford is in many ways exceptional, but in the debate around education it finds itself mired […]

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A gutsy connection in autism?

Image Description: Drawing of a stomach.  While almost 90% of people with autism suffer from gut problems, such as abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea, the cause of these issue has remained largely unknown. Now, a genetic mutation that affects both the gut and the brain is a likely culprit. The study, conducted by Elisa Hill-Yardin […]

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The problem with problematic: A worrying discursive trend?

Image description: The Bodleain Library, Oxford University. It is well documented that Oxford University is privy to a myriad of discomforting phenomenon. Indeed, highlighting the issues and problems associated with Oxford University has, in recent years, become a particularly popular pursuit of the British media. The University has been on the receiving end of criticism for […]

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