JOSHA's Critical Review of "PhD Training is no Longer Fit for the Purpose – it Needs Reform Now” by Nature
The editorial in Nature titled "PhD Training is No Longer Fit for Purpose - It Needs Reform Now" highlights the urgent need for reform in doctoral training, which is failing to meet the expectations of world leaders who consider science crucial for national welfare. Doctoral training has long been troubled, with concerns about inadequate student grants, lack of support, poor quality supervision, and systemic discrimination in academic culture. Additionally, doctoral students are not prepared for the interdisciplinary work and large teams that are characteristic of contemporary science, particularly outside of academic research. The article suggests that the current system of doctoral training, based on a master-apprentice relationship with individual professors, is outdated and inadequate. The editorial calls for a revolution in doctoral training design and funding, similar to the one that occurred when education became open to all.
JOSHA’s Critical Review of “The Problem of ‘Trickle-down Science from the Global North to the Global South” by D. Reidpath and P. Allotey
This article by Daniel D. Reidpath and Pascale Allotey examines the issue of 'trickle-down science' from the Global North to the Global South and its impact on scientific research. The authors identify three consequences of this focus: researchers in the Global North shifting their attention away from the Global South, those trying to maintain their focus on the Global South, and frustrated researchers returning to the Global South due to a lack of opportunities. The article uses examples to illustrate the mismatch between research conducted in low- and middle-income countries and the specific needs of the Global South. The authors highlight the challenges facing the Global South and argue for a more collaborative and balanced approach that takes into account the needs and priorities of this region. This article was first published in 'BMJ Global Health' on July 05, 2019 (https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2019-001719).
The article "India's Scientific Diversity: Caste Barriers" by Ankur Paliwal highlights the challenges faced by marginalised communities in pursuing scientific careers in India. It reveals the under-representation of Adivasis and Dalits in science and their discriminatory experiences in higher education. The article emphasises the need for more mentorship and guidance for students from marginalised communities and calls on the government and institutions to address the lack of diversity and promote equality. While the article is effective in drawing attention to the issues, it lacks an in-depth analysis of the root causes of caste barriers and offers limited recommendations for overcoming them. It also fails to explore the wider impact of the caste system on scientific research.
This newsletter explores the topic of personalised treatments for mental illness and the barriers to their inclusion in standardised healthcare. While there are different classes of antidepressants, even drugs within the same class can have different effects on people with the same mental illness. This variation in response can be due to a number of factors, including genetic make-up, environmental influences, and personal circumstances. The development of personalised treatments that take these factors into account could greatly improve outcomes for people with mental illness. However, there are several challenges to implementing this approach, including the need for more research and the high cost of developing personalised treatments. Despite these challenges, personalised medicine has the potential to transform mental health care and improve the lives of millions of people. This article was first published in Subkiton on February 01, 2023 (https://www.subkit.
The process of grieving is not just a personal and emotional journey, but a biological one as well. The body and brain are transformed by grief, making it impossible to simply decide to stop grieving. Recognizing the physical aspects of grief is crucial to fully heal and reduce feelings of sorrow and despair. While supporting someone who is grieving can be emotionally and physically draining, it is important to prioritize self-care and take breaks when needed. However, when spending time with a grieving person, it is vital to hold space for their emotions and validate their unique journey. This newsletter explores the differences between grief and depression, the complexities of complicated grief, the role of grief triggers, and how grief affects both the brain and body. It also delves into the neuroscience behind supporting someone in grief.
In this article, we explore the biology behind the process of attachment formation between a caregiver and a child. The focus is primarily on mothers and their infants or young toddlers, but we anticipate that the science extends to other populations as well. We discuss the biological process of attachment formation and the factors that influence the quality of attachment between a parent and child. While there may be hormonal differences between males and females, both can form strong attachments, and the hormone oxytocin plays a critical role in forming attachments in both caregiver-child and romantic relationships. In the end, what it comes down to is that it is an adult who is personally invested in the wellbeing of a child. This article was first published in Subkiton on November 01, 2022 (https://www.subkit.com/pernillebuelow/posts/the-biology-of-attachment-formation)
The concept of love languages is widely known, but is there any scientific evidence to support their existence? This newsletter explores the science behind the popular concept of love languages and their impact on our mental health. Despite academia's reluctance to study this topic, understanding love languages can help us practice self-reflection and ultimately inspire change. It is a summary of the research on love languages and their neurobiological differences, as well as their influence on the quality of our romantic relationships. This article offers a unique perspective, placing the concept of love languages in the context of brain activity and discussing the practical implications for our mental health. This article was first published in Subkiton on October 14, 2022 (https://www.subkit.com/pernillebuelow/posts/love-languages-the-science-and-your-mental-health).
The type of attachment style formed in infancy with primary caregivers is a strong predictor of mental wellbeing in later life, influencing how individuals develop relationships, trust, self-confidence and emotional regulation. While other factors contribute to the risk of mental health and psychopathology, attachment styles provide a reliable understanding of individual development and help to target interventions to specific needs. Parental attachment style is a strong predictor of infant attachment style and reproduces behaviours that reinforce attachment style. Insecure attachment styles can lead to a vicious cycle of poor mental wellbeing. Longitudinal studies report a higher likelihood of depression and self-harm in adolescence for those with insecure attachment in childhood. This newsletter explores the science of attachment styles, their impact on brain development and function, and their implications for mental health.
In 1989, Gert van Rooyen and Joey Haarhoff abducted and murdered six young girls, with no trace of their bodies ever found. The crimes occurred during a period of social breakdown in South Africa, marked by disillusionment with the Dutch Reform Church and the emergence of vast conspiracy theories. Gert was a known paedophile, and the involvement of his partner Joey can only be explained as a form of active hybristophilia. The couple's religious involvement is also notable, with Gert exhibiting characteristics of a cult leader. The crimes remain horrifying in a country with high rates of violence, rape, and murder.
This is a critical review of the article "How to regulate evolving AI health algorithms" by David W. Bates. The article discusses the challenges of regulating healthcare information technology, specifically AI algorithms, due to their continuously evolving nature. The author argues for updated regulatory approaches that allow for continuous learning and adaptation of these algorithms while prioritizing safety and effectiveness. While the article presents valuable insights into the potential benefits and drawbacks of using AI algorithms in healthcare, it does not fully address potential negative effects and ethical and legal implications. Future studies should explore these issues to develop appropriate regulatory frameworks.