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Lectures

Writing Life No. 19: An Interview with Jason Pine

This article is part of the following series:

Figure 1 (Jason): Writing is painful for me. I do TRX Suspension Training with an amazing online and affordable personal trainer/physical therapist (email me and I’ll give you his number) to correct my posture. I rest the nape of my neck on my orange wedge called a Davinci (try it), to release tension. I use Tizanidine (feels great), and sometimes
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Lectures

Fit for Purpose? Prime Minister Johnson’s Two Bodies and the UK Better Health Strategy

This article is part of the following series:

Amongst the UK’s current Conservative Government, rhetorically invoking the body politic is common practice. For example, in 2019 Number 10 Special Advisor Dominic Cummings argued that a European reformist faction within the Tory party “should be treated like a metastasising tumour and excised from the UK body politic” while UK Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson deployed the metaphor as a …

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Lectures

The ‘Dark Ages’ – a misused metaphor for a post-antibiotic future

This article is part of the following series:

In 2014, then Prime Minister David Cameron told the British public that ‘we are in danger of going back to the Dark Ages of medicine.’ He was introducing the UK government commissioned Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), which projected that there would be 10 million deaths per year due to AMR by 2050. While Cameron did not invent the ‘Dark …

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Lectures

The Significance of Covid-19 as Crisis

This article is part of the following series:

What is the significance of COVID-19? The honest response is that I don’t know which, however, does not prevent me from thinking that it has something crucial to tell us. COVID-19 is both real and global and yet it manifests itself allegorically and unevenly. Some get sick, others die, and a growing few turn off and deny. COVID-19 is a …

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Features

Acting Fatally on the Strength of the Martial Metaphor

George Eliot’s narrator in The Mill on the Floss (1860) reminds us that it is lamentable “that intelligence so rarely shows itself in speech without metaphor – that we can so seldom declare what a thing is, except by saying it is something else.”

But accuracy is not really the problem; it goes without saying that language is limited in …

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Lectures

The politics of Amphibiosis: the war against viruses will not take place

This article is part of the following series:

“We are at war.” This was Emmanuel Macron’s chosen refrain when he addressed the French nation about the current COVID-19 pandemic. He is certainly not the first to present human/pathogenic microbe relations in this way. Indeed, the history of immunology and epidemiology is littered with the vocabulary of war. But this presidential rhetoric reveals a certain communication strategy based on …

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