Early educational experiences that shaped Emil du Bois-Reymond’s career in science
One of the important educational milestones for Bois-Reymond had been the experimental course he did in Berlin in 1838. His interactions with Jons Jacob Berzelius and other eminent scientists of the day shaped his formative mind. The exchanges he had with Johannes Muller served as an added apprenticeship for the young Bois-Reymond. Reading Carlo Matteucci’s essay “On the Electrical Phenomena of Animals” in 1841 had a profound influence on his ever inquisitive scientific mind. In 1843 Du Bois-Reymond was fortunate to have correspondence with and be appraised by Alexander von Humboldt. This culminated in his dissertation presentation to the French Academy of Sciences. Bois-Reymond’s academic life was thus filled with numerous fortuitous interactions with the leading scientific lights of the day.
Bois-Reymond’s personality, preferences and personal . . . Read More
The prevailing healthcare system in the United States has drawn many criticisms – from healthcare professionals and citizens alike. The American system fares badly compared to nationalized public health systems of Western Europe. Even in terms of overall costs, the American model is more expensive, which is significantly inflated by bureaucracy costs. All comparative evidence points in one direction – that the country would benefit through an overhaul of the healthcare system. Single payer and universal insurance coverage are the cornerstones of the optimal system. Posing hurdles for this noble objective are vested private interests in the form of private insurance companies, ideologically entrenched politicians and to a lesser extent, healthcare providers.
Why is the article relevant to our course discussions on the U.S. Healthcare system?
The issue of healthcare is a pressing social problem in the United States. . . . Read More
There are numerous favourable reasons why international students opt to study in Australia. A review of the literature pertaining to the topic published over the last 5 years throws light on these reasons. Some of the major reasons include cost-effectiveness, multi-racial academic environment, prospects for employment after graduation, precedent of successful immigrant integration into society, government support for overseas students, etc. But the review also revealed how there are some issues of racism and political conservatism that discourage international student enrolment. Nevertheless, on balance, the favourable reasons outnumber and outweigh the drawbacks. The rest of this paper will highlight the array of reasons why international students choose to study in Australia, while also indicating the negative factors gleaned from the research.
It is a reflection of the attractiveness of Australia as a centre for higher studies that it ranks third among a dozen competing . . . Read More
Karl Marx’ essay ‘On the Jewish Question’ is elaborate, insightful and addresses a pressing issue in 19th century Germany. First published in his collection of early philosophical writings, the essay considers Jewish emancipation in the realm of politics and civil society. The essay is partly a polemic to Bruno Bauer’s proposal to the Jewish Question. Marx’ primary concern is political-economy and not emancipation on the basis of religion. He has objections to Bauer’s proposal on two grounds. First, it is impossible for people to forsake their religion for gaining equal political rights. Second, even if this nominal equality is won, it won’t translate into meaningful social emancipation. (Marx, p.7) Marx cites the example of the failure of universal electoral franchise in alleviating socio-economic disparity in American society. This is so because granting equality to ‘citizens’ of the state does not lead to equality at the level of ‘species-beings’. (Marx, . . . Read More
Geopolitical equations toward the end of the 19th century were as complex as it was fragile. The two broad groupings were the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance. These two distinct groupings came into existence in 1882 and lasted till the First World War. But even among alliance partners, there were conflicts of interest and opposition, creating a sense of propensity for military conflict. The Triple Alliance consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. The Triple Entente consisted of Great Britain, France and Russia. Taken in unity, the two groups had formidable economic and military power at their disposal.
During the time of the Triple Entente, Great Britain was the most powerful empire in the world. British colonies existed in every corner of the world and there was no other empire which could boast of the proficiency and reach of the British Navy. The British economy was flourishing during the late 19th century and it had . . . Read More
The advertisement campaign for creating AIDS awareness featuring Adolf Hitler has drawn much controversy upon its release. The ad shows a couple having steaming sex in a dimly lit room with music playing in the background. Towards the end of the ad, the face of the man is revealed to be Adolf Hitler, with the tag line ‘AIDS is a mass murderer’. The Rainbow group, which in association with Hamburg-based ad agency Das Comitee has conceived and promoted this awareness campaign, has defended the shock, disgust and provocation invoked by the ad. It’s spokesperson says that the ad is intended to wake up young Germans to the reality of AIDS prevalence in the country – a subject that has faded of late in public discourse. The discouraging statistics pertaining to the spread o AIDS in Germany, is warrant enough for this bold provocation, the charitable group justifies. And there is some merit in their point of view. For example, “Germans need the encouragement – the facts . . . Read More
In global geo-politics, the term legitimacy comes up for discussion quite often. This is especially true with regards to a government’s military actions in its foreign affairs. But a distinction will have to be made between ‘legitimacy’ and ‘legality’. ‘Legitimacy’ is seen as a matter of keeping to the spirit of the law, where as ‘legality’ is applied where technical details are concerned. Hence a nation could be conducting a ‘legal’ operation upon another nation without a legitimate basis for it. The ongoing occupation of Palestine by Israeli forces is a case in point, where the concocted legality betrays the lack of legitimacy of the occupation. The same analogy could be applied to the American occupation of Iraq, where even legality could be questioned.
’Triumph of the Will’ is a term used by politicians when a policy action succeeds against all odds. The term is mostly employed in the context of a military venture or an economic . . . Read More
The First World War, also called the Great War would shake-up then existing power equations within Europe and prime the region for the Second World War two decades later. While America’s participation in the latter was more substantial than the former, it nevertheless played a crucial supportive role to its conventional allies. It’s support to the French cause would prove to be a major factor in the eventual outcome of the war. Robert Bruce’s book titled The Fraternity of Arms: America and France in the Great War traces this alliance and places it in the historical, political, ideological and imperialist contexts. (Thesis) Carefully researched and meticulously documented, the book offers new insights into officially recognized events and behind-the-scene realpolitik manoeuvrings during the war. More importantly, it is unique in terms of its historiography, adding new dimensions to the study of history.
Where the book diverges from other . . . Read More
Without doubt, the Holocaust is the biggest human tragedy of the twentieth century. A combination of circumstances had led to the systematic slaughter of 6 million Jews from all across Europe. The importune rise of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party and the flood of propaganda under the Third Reich banner had driven the German population to a state of frenzy that they became complicit in the worst humanitarian catastrophe of the last century. The documentary film by Peter Eisenman titled Building Germany’s Holocaust Memorial is another addition to the voluminous archives on the Holocaust. But compared to other films this film discusses the motivations and the process adopted for building this monument. In it architect Eisenmen discusses the challenges he and engineer Buro Happold had to overcome to take this gigantic project to its conclusion. He also explains the rationale for adopting the particular grid-like architectural design for the memorial site.
As I saw . . . Read More
The rise to power of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party is one of the defining moments of the history of twentieth century. It was in the year 1933 that Adolf Hitler led his National Socialist Party to power in what was then a united German nation, by winning the largest number of seats in the Reichstag. In the years leading up to this crucial election his party leadership unleashed an effective propaganda campaign spreading the message of German nationalism and Aryan superiority over other races. These were to continue during the years in power as well, when the party message would get increasingly more vitriolic, especially against Jews. The 1930s were the time when motion picture and radio technologies were getting more sophisticated. The Nazi leadership took advantage of these technologies in carrying out propaganda efforts that would garner public support for their domestic and international policies. Joseph Goebbels was appointed by Hitler to head the Propaganda Ministry in 1930. . . . Read More