Podcast Post: How to Report on Terrorism

Although my research focuses on media representations of mental illness and how the press try to achieve positive reporting on this topic, I’m finding myself becoming more and more interested in the way that attempts are made to govern the way that the media reports on news events.

This morning, I listened to a podcast by the BBC World Service’s The Inquiry, which explored this very issue – focusing not only mental illness, but on terrorism. It explored four different ways that governments have attempted to address how terrorism was reported in the media and the impact that these approaches had on not only terrorism itself, but also on the media industry.

I would highly recommend a listen, if you have the time. You can find the podcast here.

Blog Post: The immune system and the brain: complement or casualty?

For a long time it has been assumed that the sole purpose of the immune system is to defend the body against infection. However, research is now showing that your immune system is doing much more than this. In fact, it is doing some extremely clever multitasking. These non-immune duties are important for the healthy development of your brain and consequently your mental health. If they go awry, they may cause mental disorder.

– Laura Westacott

Read more here.

Aphasia: A blog post by All Things Linguistic

The human brain has two hemispheres. In most people, the left hemisphere governs language.  We know this because in 1861, the physician Paul Broca studied a patient who lost the ability to use all but a single word: “tan.” During a postmortem study of that patient’s brain, Broca discovered a large lesion in the left hemisphere, now known as “Broca’s area.” Scientists today believe that Broca’s area is responsible in part for naming objects and coordinating the muscles involved in speech. Behind Broca’s area is Wernicke’s area, near the auditory cortex. That’s where the brain attaches meaning to speech sounds. Damage to Wernicke’s area impairs the brain’s ability to comprehend language. Aphasia is caused by injury to one or both of these specialized language areas.

– Gretchen McCulloch

Read more here.

New report shows gender ratios for linguistics PhDs are coming into greater balance

The 2016 Annual Report on the State of Linguistics in Higher Education provides data and information on careers in linguistics, trends in linguistic teaching positions, gender and ethnicity breakdowns within linguistics, and topics of specialization in linguistic programs, among other areas. The Annual Report, the fourth to be released by the LSA, features data provided by linguistics departments and programs throughout North America, federal government surveys, the American Academy, the LSA’s internal membership directory, and data on gender collected by LSA’s Committee on the Status of Women in Linguistics (COSWL) from 50 select institutions.

Read a summary of the report’s findings here.

Article: Female scientists are considerably more likely to be mistakenly cited as if they were males than vice versa

Female-turned-male mistakes are most common in business and economics, followed by the social sciences, and the arts and humanities; and virtually never happen in the biomedical fields. However, given that it is the social sciences and the arts and humanities categories that boast a relatively high proportion of female scientists, that variable does not seem to explain much of the variation.

– Michał Krawczyk

Read more here.