Sci-fi becomes reality with the rise of 'smart drugs' at work

by Karen Dale and Brian Bloomfield Added 31.01.2015
The potential of “smart drugs” that improve our memory, focus and capacity for work has taken a hold of the popular imagination. Two recent blockbuster films have played a part. Both Limitless and Lucy wove stories around the possibilities of...

A Greek Burial for German Austerity

by Joschka Fischer Added 30.01.2015
BERLIN – Not long ago, German politicians and journalists confidently declared that the euro crisis was over; Germany and the European Union, they believed, had weathered the storm. Today, we know that this was just another mistake in an ongoing...

Netanyahu Betrays What’s Best For Israel

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 29.01.2015
Prime Minister Netanyahu has been more vocal than any of his predecessors about the ‘looming Iranian danger,’ insisting that any agreement to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons will amount to nothing more than a technical pause. He has...

Facing Down Mental Illness

by Thomas Insel Added 28.01.2015
DAVOS – Contrary to common perception, mental illness is a problem that is neither new nor unique to the developed world. What we call schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are recognizable in literature dating back to ancient Greece, and The...

Mental health is a global issue – here's how neuroscience can cross international boundaries

by Barbara Sahakian Added 28.01.2015
Neuroscience holds the key to understanding the brain – and to developing more effective treatments for people with mental health disorders. But if we are to translate the many neuroscience discoveries into better brain health and well-being for...

The Bookies and the British Election

by Chris Patten Added 28.01.2015
LONDON – I used to be considered a pretty good forecaster of British and other countries’ elections. I was, after all, once a party chairman. I can now confess my method. It was not based on any novel political insight. I did not have a magic...

Boehner/Netanyahu: "So Smart, They're Stupid”

by James J. Zogby Added 26.01.2015
When I was growing up, I remember a saying that was used to describe the behavior of persons who were so cocky that they did really dumb things—"He's so smart, he's stupid". I thought of this expression when I heard Speaker of the House of...

LGBT at Work

by Beth Brooke-Marciniak Added 26.01.2015
DAVOS – When Apple CEO Tim Cook announced last year that he is gay, I was inundated by emails and telephone messages from executives around the world. As an “out” executive at Ernst & Young (EY), everyone seemed to want to know what I thought...

The Dangers of Clarity: Don't Let Terrorism Define Us

by Jedediah Purdy Added 23.01.2015
France is at war, Prime Minster Manuel Valls declared after the  Charlie Hebdoattacks, against terrorism and radical Islamism. Millions of people marched in Paris and elsewhere two days later to affirm the values Valls's war is meant to defend:...

Have We Become Too Flexible?

by Aidar Turner Added 22.01.2015
LONDON – As 2015 begins, the reality of deficient global demand and deflationary risks in the world’s major economies is starkly apparent. In the eurozone, GDP growth is slowing, and inflation has turned negative. Japan’s progress toward its 2%...

A Momentous Opportunity To Embrace The Arab Peace Initiative

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 22.01.2015
The Arab Peace Initiative (API) presents an unprecedented and vital opportunity to change the course of events in the Middle East by realizing an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement in the context of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace. At no...

The ECB’s New Macroeconomic Realism

by Jeffrey D. Sachs Added 22.01.2015
NEW YORK – The European Central Bank has finally launched a policy of quantitative easing (QE). The key question at this stage is whether Germany will give the ECB the freedom of maneuver needed to carry out this monetary expansion with...

Africa’s Rising Political Violence

by Daniel Wagner Added 22.01.2015
The rising propensity for political violence in much of Africa is a worrying trend that has received less attention in the international media than it deserves. Al Shabaab and Boko Haram are frequently mentioned in the media, but the...

The Fall of the House of Samuelson

by Robert Skidelsky Added 22.01.2015
LONDON – To read The Samuelson Sampler in the shadow of the Great Recession is to gain a glimpse into the mindset of a bygone era. The sample is of the late Paul Samuelson’s weekly columns for the magazine Newsweek from 1966-1973. Samuelson, a...

The “Impact” Illusion in Science

by Henry I. Miller Added 21.01.2015
STANFORD – Government-funded scientific research runs the gamut from studies of basic physical and biological processes to the development of applications to meet immediate needs. Given limited resources, grant-making authorities are always...

On the Murders at Charlie Hebdo

by James J. Zogby Added 20.01.2015
The perpetrators of the horror at Charlie Hedbo were not devout Muslims outraged by insults directed at their faith. They were not motivated by religious piety, nor did they seek to strike a blow at "freedom of expression". Rather they were...

Terror in Paris

by Lawrence Davidson Added 17.01.2015
The Attack and Its Immediate Context On Wednesday 7 July 2015 two heavily armed men walked into the Paris offices of a satirical magazine called Charlie Hebdo (Charlie Weekly) and methodically murdered twelve people, including the magazine’s...

Pope Francis gives freedom of speech a cruel punch

by Tom Gallagher Added 17.01.2015
Approaching his third year as head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis appeared to be doing so well. That is, until after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, he’s said that those who mock faith should be punched in the face. This is the voice of...

Making Sense of the Swiss Shock

by Markus Brunnermeier and Harold James Added 17.01.2015
PRINCETON – Since the European sovereign-debt crisis erupted in 2009, everyone has wondered what would happen if a country left the eurozone. At first, the debate focused on crisis countries – Greece, or maybe Portugal, Spain, or Italy. Then...

Charlie and Theo

by Ian Buruma Added 15.01.2015
AMSTERDAM – The Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was murdered by a Muslim extremist in Amsterdam a little more than ten years ago, had much in common with the satirists of Charlie Hebdo. Like the French editors and cartoonists, he was a...

Charlie and the Anti-Muslim Media Factory

by Sami Mahroum Added 15.01.2015
PARIS – It is easy to discuss the deadly attack on Charlie Hebdo as an attack on freedom of expression. But are we supposed to be surprised that a global terror organization known for its brutal disregard for human rights and humane values would...

What Good Are Economists?

by Robert J. Shiller Added 15.01.2015
NEW HAVEN – Since the global financial crisis and recession of 2007-2009, criticism of the economics profession has intensified. The failure of all but a few professional economists to forecast the episode – the aftereffects of which still...

The War with Radical Islam

by Jeffrey D. Sachs Added 15.01.2015
NEW YORK – French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was not speaking metaphorically when he said that France is at war with radical Islam. There is, indeed, a full-fledged war underway, and the heinous terrorist attacks in Paris were part of it. Yet,...

Netanyahu’s Policies Are Fueling Anti-Semitism

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 14.01.2015
I am no longer surprised by what Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu says or does. No leader with any pride and sensitivity would have tried to exploit for political gain the tragic deaths of four French Jews who were assassinated in a kosher...

From Welfare State to Innovation State

by Dani Rodrik Added 14.01.2015
PRINCETON – A specter is haunting the world economy – the specter of job-killing technology. How this challenge is met will determine the fate of the world’s market economies and democratic polities, in much the same way that Europe’s response...

A New Sino-Russian Alliance?

by Joseph S. Nye Added 13.01.2015
CAMBRIDGE – Some analysts believe that 2014 ushered in a new era of Cold War-style geopolitics. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea was met with heavy economic sanctions from Europe and the United...

Choosing Between A Novel Promise Or New Peril

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 11.01.2015
Throughout the 48 years of Israeli occupation, both Israelis and Palestinians have adopted and implemented policies in an effort to buttress their positions when in fact these policies have proven to be dangerously counterproductive and have now...

Israel’s March 2015 Elections

by Lawrence Davidson Added 11.01.2015
Trepidation   There is trepidation in the Zionist ranks over the March 2015 elections for a new Knesset or parliament. It seems that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got angry at his more “liberal” coalition partners Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid...

Facebook Faces Down Putin

by Sergei Guriev Added 09.01.2015
PARIS – On December 20, Russia’s government requested that Facebook block a page used to rally opponents of President Vladimir Putin. Facebook initially agreed, but allowed a new page to be opened the next day. By demonstrating that at least...

Standing Up to Putin

by Bogdan Klich Added 08.01.2015
WARSAW – The accumulation of conflicts and crises in Eastern Europe and the Middle East poses new challenges for NATO and the European Union. If these challenges are to be met, both institutions – bastions of Western values and security – will...

Europe’s Lapse of Reason

by Joseph E. Stiglitz Added 08.01.2015
NEW YORK – At long last, the United States is showing signs of recovery from the crisis that erupted at the end of President George W. Bush’s administration, when the near-implosion of its financial system sent shock waves around the world. But...

Modi’s Chauvinism Problem

by Shashi Tharoor Added 08.01.2015
NEW DELHI – As the New Year dawns, it has become increasingly clear that India’s new government faces a dilemma entirely of its own making – one that its predecessor never had to confront. Narendra Modi’s election as Prime Minister in May 2014...

We are all Charlie Hebdo – and this is an attack on our rights

by Rosa Freedman Added 07.01.2015
The shocking events at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris did not happen in a vacuum. They are not the actions of a few outcasts on the edge of society. These brutal murders, apparently in the name of religious extremism, take place amid an...

The Fall of Netanyahu?

by Shlomo Avineri Added 07.01.2015
JERUSALEM – The dissolution of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, just a day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sacked two senior cabinet ministers, marks a surprising turnabout. Indeed, when Israelis vote again in March, more than two years...

Much to the Surprise of Pundit Class, Nancy Pelosi’s Influence Will Rise in 2015

by Robert Creamer Added 07.01.2015
  Some in the pundit class are falling all over each other with predictions that House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi – and the Progressive forces she leads – have somehow been banished to irrelevancy by the outcome of the mid-term elections. ...

A Comeback Strategy for Europe

by Carl Bildt and Javier Solana Added 07.01.2015
STOCKHOLM/MADRID – When Pope Francis addressed the European Parliament last November, he compared the European Union to a grandmother – pleasant and rich with experience, but lacking the vitality and energy of the past. It is high time, Francis...

Why most food labels are wrong about calories

by Richard Wrangham and Rachel Carmody Added 06.01.2015
Looks so official and definitive…. FDA Food labels seem to provide all the information a thoughtful consumer needs, so counting calories should be simple. But things get tricky because food labels tell only half the story. A calorie is a measure...

Russia’s European Home

by Vladislav Inozemtsev Added 06.01.2015
MOSCOW – Last spring, after Russia annexed Crimea and began intervening in eastern Ukraine, the United States and the European Union introduced sanctions against Russian individuals and businesses. But if sanctions are to be an effective tool in...

Obama’s Cuban Breakthrough

by Shlomo Ben-Ami Added 06.01.2015
MADRID – Too frequently, leaders become hostages, rather than shapers, of their sociopolitical environment. Too seldom does the world see history-changing steps like Richard Nixon’s trip to China in 1972 or Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat’s...

Mexico is Burning

by Jorge G. Castañeda Added 06.01.2015
MEXICO CITY – The last time Mexico experienced a political crisis more serious than the one it is undergoing today was in 1994, when a group of so-called Zapatista guerrillas staged a semi-armed uprising in the southern state of Chiapas. The...

Paul Krugman and the Obama Recovery

by Jeffrey D. Sachs Added 05.01.2015
NEW YORK – For several years, and often several times a month, the Nobel laureate economist and New York Times columnist and blogger Paul Krugman has delivered one main message to his loyal readers: deficit-cutting “austerians” (as he calls...

A Bad End to a Bad Year

by James J. Zogby Added 05.01.2015
 The closing weeks of 2014 spelled disaster for US leadership and the rule of law. During the last two weeks of December, the US countered three different efforts designed to affirm Palestinian rights. It was unfortunate since in doing so the US...

The Next Chinese Economy

by Zhang Monan Added 02.01.2015
BEIJING – After more than 30 years of extraordinary growth, the Chinese economy is shifting onto a more conventional development path – and a difficult rebalancing is underway, affecting nearly every aspect of the economy. For starters, China’s...

Try Everything

by J. Bradford DeLong Added 01.01.2015
BERKELEY – When it became clear in late 2008 that the global economy was headed toward a crash at least as dangerous as the one that had initiated the Great Depression, I was alarmed, but also hopeful. We had, after all, seen this before. And we...

Where Will All the Workers Go?

by Nouriel Roubini Added 01.01.2015
NEW YORK – Technology innovators and CEOs seem positively giddy nowadays about what the future will bring. New manufacturing technologies have generated feverish excitement about what some see as a Third Industrial Revolution. In the years...

East Asia’s New Year Resolutions

by Gareth Evans Added 31.12.2014
SEOUL – If World War III ever breaks out, its origins will not lie in the Middle East, South Asia, or Eastern Europe. It is in East Asia – where the strategic interests of China, the United States, and their respective partners intersect – that...

US seen losing its share of world's highly skilled migrants

by Emilio Zagheni Added 30.12.2014
The United States has always been known as a nation of immigrants and a top destination for scientists and other highly skilled professionals. That ability to attract the world’s most educated and innovative people to its shores has often been...

The Silent Cry of Bethlehem

by James J. Zogby Added 29.12.2014
Bethlehem has always loomed large in our imagination. For generations, the feelings evoked by this town have been captured in multiple art forms, serving to inspire both believers and non-believers with its message of hope and the joyful promise...

Europe’s Shadow Budget

by Hans-Werner Sinn Added 27.12.2014
MUNICH – More details about the European Commission’s €315 billion ($390 billion) investment plan for 2015-2017 have finally come to light. The program, announced by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in November, amounts to a...

Europe’s Make-or-Break Year

by Joschka Fischer Added 25.12.2014
BERLIN – The euro crisis, it is said, is over. Calm has returned to financial markets, amid ironclad assurances by the European Union authorities – particularly the European Central Bank – that the monetary union will be preserved. But Southern...
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Letter from the Editor

Why we must keep the memory of the Holocaust alive, now more than ever

An article by Toby Thacker, Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at Cardiff University.

Come back Voltaire, we need your ideas

by Michael Johnson Added 31.01.2015
“It is not only very cruel in this short life to persecute those who do not think in the same way as we do, but I am also doubtful that we are justified in pronouncing them eternally damned.” -- Voltaire, Treatise on Tolerance, 1763 French...

Still Alice, and the advocacy for Alzheimer's in fiction

by Matthew Wade Added 30.01.2015
Still Alice – starring Julianne Moore – tells the story of Alice Howland, a linguistics professor diagnosed with a form of early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Moore has already netted a Golden Globe and is clear favourite for a well-deserved Best...

The Conditional Sanctity of the Office of the President

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 29.01.2015
Hypocrisy is nothing new to either side of the aisle. Short memories and expediency allow for feigned outrage against the latest policy that was, just a short time ago, righteously and patriotically advanced as vital to America's future,...

Pareidolia in Politics: The Face of Faith's Corrupting Influence

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 27.01.2015
We gaze at the night sky and see the comforting order of constellations in the random distribution of stars. We look up and discern shapes of animals in the wispy condensation of clouds. We breathlessly share on social media images of Jesus on...

What Drives Moral Progress?

by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein Added 26.01.2015
DAVOS – What would happen if the ancient Greek philosopher Plato partook in contemporary dialogues about the types of questions that he first posed, and that continue to vex us? In my view, he would have many new questions – including about our...

Why we must keep the memory of the Holocaust alive, now more than ever

by Toby Thacker Added 26.01.2015
On January 29 1945 Victor Klemperer, a Jewish academic in Dresden, recorded in his diary being told by a friend about a speech on the radio given by the émigré writer Thomas Mann: According to it, the Germans had murdered one-and-a-half million...

Winston Churchill and his 'black dog' of greatness

by Nassir Ghaemi Added 23.01.2015
It was 1930. Winston Churchill was a 55-year-old Conservative Party politician who had been a member of parliament for three decades. He had eventually risen to the position of chancellor of the exchequer six years earlier but, in the peace and...

Cuba Changes Everything

by John Hemingway Added 22.01.2015
I remember that a friend of mine in California sent me a heads-up on the 17th of December saying that the USA and Cuba were about to free some of their prisoners in a gesture of better times to come. But as everyone now knows, it wasn't just a...

Churchill's imperial chauvinism left a bitter legacy in India

by Philip Murphy Added 22.01.2015
For those who enjoy debunking the reputations of national heroes, there can be few softer targets than Winston Churchill. The phrase “flawed hero” could almost have been invented to characterise his long, wilfully erratic career. Running through...

The Resurgence of the Leftist Public Intellectual

by Daniel Tutt Added 17.01.2015
The American philosopher Richard Rorty once wrote that academe's obsession with theory creates a 'shibboleth' in the university system, sheltering and confining its debates and polemics from the public sphere. Rorty made this accusation back in...
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The wailing vibrato of Sidney Bechet

by Michael Johnson Added 25.01.2015
I left jazz behind many years ago when I got hooked on Handel. The harmonies, the bounce and the melodies of the old German seemed to hold much more promise. I remember boasting to a friend, “I even have The Messiah in English.” I had a lot to...

Ivan Ilic’s personal homage to a daring composer

by Michael Johnson Added 20.01.2015
As composer Morton Feldman enjoys a comeback in contemporary music circles today, a Swiss arts and design academy has published a new tribute to him along with a CD featuring an ethereal interpretation of Palais de Mari, Feldman’s last solo...

Hélène Grimaud: a stunning recital in Bordeaux

by Michael Johnson Added 17.01.2015
French pianist Hélène Grimaud returned to Bordeaux Friday night (Jan. 16) after a five-year absence, offering a program notable for its concentration on 20th century music.  She is expanding her repertoire ever closer to present day composers...

Review of Seattle Opera’s “Tosca”

by James Bash Added 17.01.2015
One would think that a reliable warhorse like “Tosca” might be a dull affair because it is performed so often, but the most recent Seattle Opera production shows that Puccini’s masterpiece still can grip audiences in the gut. The performance on...

We're playing classical music all wrong – composers wanted us to improvise

by Clive Brown Added 15.01.2015
After a very drawn out and fraught construction, the Philharmonie de Paris is finally open. The 2,400 seat concert hall was conceived with ambitious plans to democratise classical music, and is situated, in line with these aims, on the boundary...

What Can A Deaf Composer Teach Hearing Impaired Kids About Music? - More Than You Might Think

by Michael Levin Added 15.01.2015
Even casual fans of classical music know of Ludwig van Beethoven’s deafness.  But could his hearing loss actually have been his greatest advantage as a musician? Maybe so, says Leif Ove Andsnes, the highly acclaimed Norwegian pianist touring the...

My Brooklyn Bridge: The Party's Not Over

by Glen Roven Added 02.01.2015
The one thing the blogosphere does not need is another article about trendy, hip, ironic, facially-haired Brooklyn. In fact some recent articles now toll the death knell of the borough, saying that Brooklyn is passé; it seems that Queens is the...

Cello and piano share the spotlight in Rachmaninov’s sonata

by Michael Johnson Added 28.12.2014
A powerful new recording of Rachmaninov’s familiar Sonata for Cello and Piano in G Minor Op. 19 (Light and Shadow, Becsta Records) manages to take this rich Russian music to new heights. It ranks comfortably alongside several impressive readings...

Hamelin: Balancing performance and composing

by Michael Johnson Added 12.12.2014
Marc-André Hamelin, Canadian-born and now residing in the Boston suburbs, has just completed a highly successful two-concert series in Bordeaux, playing the Beethoven piano concerto No. 4 including his own cadenza. It was his first Bordeaux...

Hamelin shows Bordeaux how it’s done

by Michael Johnson Added 11.12.2014
Canadian-born pianist Marc-André Hamelin kept a Bordeaux audience riveted Wednesday evening (Dec. 10) by his super-sensitive rendering of a familiar warhorse, the Beethoven piano concerto No. 4. Familiar, yes, but Bordeaux had never heard it...
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