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The Covid-19 outbreak: here is why the quarantine will not hold

A few days ago, the Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte declared a status of quarantine in Italy to fight the Coronavirus outbreak. This article aims to illustrate why this measure will not hold, and why Italian citizens might eventually come to break it. The Italian case serves as an example to illustrate how an average citizen in the Western world would cope with a condition of physical confinement.

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Recent articles

Essay

Social Media has replaced Print and will continue to

The President of the United States has unofficially sanctioned Twitter as his first location of national consciousness-building. The entire discussion around politics taking place among intellectual elites has gravitated from the pages of magazines and into the long tablets of individual Twitter feeds. We might believe that we are competent enough to sort through an infinitely updating database of information, and that we can be responsible for great stores of print literature amalgamated upon our heels in an ever-receding past. We might also imagine that this glut of information, incalculable in scale, is navigable, and that our democratic consumers are

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Essay

Family stories: the future seen from the 76th Venice International Film Festival

This is my experience at the 76th Venice International Film Festival, one of the most prestigious cinematographic events of the year worldwide. In this article, I discuss some movies I watched that share a common theme: the contemporary family, with its problems and contradictions. I then reflect on what family really is and how it has evolved over time, and I highlight the importance of human bonds and connections in a world that is growing more hostile each day.

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Essay

The Covid-19 outbreak: here is why the quarantine will not hold

A few days ago, the Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte declared a status of quarantine in Italy to fight the Coronavirus outbreak. This article aims to illustrate why this measure will not hold, and why Italian citizens might eventually come to break it. The Italian case serves as an example to illustrate how an average citizen in the Western world would cope with a condition of physical confinement.

Read More »
Essay

What cell-to-cell communication teaches us about human society

Cells interact with each other in different ways, by direct contact or by releasing specific molecules to elicit a biological response in target cells. Communication between cells guarantees the successful functioning of the organism. In this article we analyze how this precise and successful cellular communication strategy differs from the way humans communicate in society, which may serve as an intimate explanation for our failures in functioning as a cooperative society.

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Essay

Ode to egoism

This brief essay aims to provide some sociological, psychological and philosophical insights on why altruism is overrated, and on why egoism should be rediscovered as the main source of individual self-fulfilment and self-expression.

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International Relations

Dieselgate: why nations hold secrets about each other

Almost everyone has a skeleton in the closet. Governments of sovereign states can go to extreme lengths in order to protect their most strategic assets and industries, and this inevitably means they have a fuller closet than you do. A government with a proven track record of spying on other states, like the US, can use this as leverage over them. In this article, we will analyze a prominent example of what it means to know a secret concerning a “friendly” state, and to reveal it only at the time when the friend becomes an “enemy”.

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Macrostory

How to enhance inclusion for people with Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be socially isolating. The fear of not being able to hear can make it tempting to simply stay home, avoiding that dinner out with friends or an evening at the theater. Public spaces are often not conducive to easy communication but simple tricks like turning down the music, installing assistive listening devices and employing communication best practices can help make gatherings more inclusive for everyone. Here’s what you can do to help.

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Probiotics
Macrostory

How scientists are saving the lives of Kenyan new-borns, one prebiotic at a time

Between 1993 and 2005, an estimated 600 million children across the globe were diagnosed with anaemia, a disorder often caused by poor bioavailability of dietary iron resulting from malnutrition. Strategies to reduce mortality in children, especially those from low-income countries, are of the utmost importance. Iron supplementation is an obvious approach, but adverse side-effects from high-dose iron supplements have been widely reported. Lately, the addition of prebiotics and probiotics has proven to be effective for treating anaemia and is expected to treat many other diseases in the near future.

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Macrostory

Are tired working parents harming economy more than parents on paid parental leave?

Working efficiently after a night of interrupted sleep is difficult. In many countries, parental leave is kept very short and the main argument for this is that longer parental leave will result in economic loss due to a smaller workforce. In this article I challenge this argument and propose that tired parents who come to work with insufficient sleep might actually be causing more harm to a nation’s economy than a reduced workforce.

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Environment

Anthropocene defaunation: the impact humans have on natural biodiversity

In the last few centuries, human activity has led to the extinction of a considerable number of animal species. This ongoing event has recently been called “Anthropocene defaunation”, which includes several human activities such as the destruction of habitats, the exploitation of natural resources and their impact on climate. In this article, the current status of global animal biodiversity will be explored, with the aim of understanding how humans have threatened, and are still threatening, the Earth’s fauna.

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Vision of reality: the problem of experience in science

Visions of reality: the problem of experience in science

Scientific discovery is grounded in our experience. But is there something about our experience that is not quantifiable? This article explores the history of the debate surrounding the compatibility of lived experience with scientific data. How the different visions of reality presented in these debates are balanced in our culture will affect the very way that life itself is lived and understood.

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fig3_the scientific publishing lobby

The scientific publishing lobby: why science does not work

Scientific progress is anchored in the way science is communicated to other scientists. Research papers are published through an antiquated system: scientific journals. This system, enforced by the scientific journals’ lobby, enormously slows down the progress of our society. This article analyzes the limitations of the current scientific publishing system, focusing on journals’ interests, their consequences on science and possible solutions to overcome the problem.

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Greta Thunberg is turning revolutionary – and why this isn’t any good

After her first sensationalist speech at the COP24 in Katowice in 2018, Greta Thunberg has given another impressive speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. Although her speech is almost identical to her previous one, on this occasion she raised a stark voice of dissent and berated politicians. This move intends to place her as the paladin of a “green” revolution with the purpose of completely replacing the existing political class to drive policy change. Here we discuss the limitations – and the dangers – of this approach.

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Public breastfeeding: the struggle is real

Public breastfeeding: the struggle is real

The number of breastfed babies is decreasing worldwide. General acceptance of public breastfeeding might be playing a big role in the decision of mothers not to breastfeed. The sexualisation of breasts and associated feelings of shame and judgement are leading to an unpreventable circle of events. This article provides insight on different cultural views of breastfeeding babies in public.

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