From New Statesman, the Labour Party lost four million voters in England between 1997 and 2010 — to win them back, it needs to reconnect with old core values that now seem strangely conservative; memo to Blue Labourites: Tone down the nostalgia — there was no golden age and the party must not idealise the working class; a review of The Coalition and the Constitution by Vernon Bogdanor; an interview with Nick Clegg about life on the far side of power and what it’s like to be a cut-out; an interview with Antonia Fraser: "The preoccupation with class is the bad side of Englishness"; and a review of Reprobates: the Cavaliers of the English Civil War by John Stubbs. From LRB, Richard J. Evans on the wonderfulness of us (the Tory interpretation of history). What can the Norman Conquest teach us about regime change? The disappearance of Rome's Ninth Legion has long baffled historians, but could a brutal ambush have been the event that forged the England-Scotland border. Far from being irrelevant, because of its size, Scotland could become central thanks to a new approach to history, explains Tom Devine. Gerry Hassan on Scotland’s future story of hope: How we defeat the forces of pessimism; and on how Scotland may not have a left anymore but it must still challenge the new vandals and miserabilists. Tommy Sheridan to the Sun: Is anyone not backing the SNP? It remains to be seen whether Prince William will inherit his grandmother’s skill in navigating the changing politics of Union. Pat Kane on why the Big Society should be a playground (but isn't); and on a creative Scotland and a cultural Scotland: A chapter from Radical Scotland: Arguments for Self-Determination The Almost Nation: Wales is having an identity crisis — actually, it’s been having one off and on for the past 2,000 years. The Emergence of One Wales: Leanne Wood examines the campaign for a Yes vote in the Welsh referendum and the eventual result and sees old divisions beginning to recede.


Vincenzo Atella and Joanna Kopinska (Rome II): Body Weight of Italians: The Weight of Education. Denis Stearns (Seattle): On (Cr)edibility: Why Food in the United States May Never be Safe. Are you smarter than a middle schooler? New site tracks science misconceptions. From Butterflies and Wheels, Joshua Leach on the postmodern interpretation of witchcraft. An interview with Harlan Lane, co-author with Richard C. Pillard and Ulf Hedberg of People of the Eye: Deaf Ethnicity and Ancestry. Love in bookstores: Browsing customers often circle each other like timid sharks. A legendary think tank shows its age: New York's Century Foundation has lost money and stature. A Month of Tweeting: Aaron Belz on how the internet discovered poetic economy. Students of advice-column history (and blog history) would do well to honor one of the founding fathers of the form, John Dunton, and marvel at how he both educated a curious nation and managed to make the Athenian Mercury a pretty sensational publication not just profitable but also semi-respectable. Kevin W. Saunders on his book Degradation: What the History of Obscenity Tells Us about Hate Speech. Laura Turner Garrison on the myth of universal humor. TurtleLeaks: How the U.N. made sure that the Arab Spring didn't reach Western Sahara. Atlas Shrunk: Ayn Rand's magnum opus took 54 years to put on the screen; Scott McLemee is underwhelmed by the result. Conservatainment: Peter Suderman on the perennial right-wing plot to seize Hollywood from liberals. The first chapter from Making Volunteers: Civic Life after Welfare's End by Nina Eliasoph. A brief guide to dictator lit: When not tyrannising their people, it seems despots such as Colonel Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein like to turn their hand to writing books.


John L. Cesaroni (Quinnipiac): Designer Human Embryos as a Challenge for Patent Law and Regulation. Chester S. Chuang (Golden Gate) and Denys T. Lau (UIC): The Pros and Cons of Gene Patents. Edward Fallone (Marquette): Funding Stem Cell Research: The Convergence of Science, Religion and Politics in the Formation of Public Health Policy. Humans, disabilities, and the humanities: Michael Berube on how bioethics is much too important to be left to bioethicists. An interview with Sheldon Krimsky and Tania Simoncelli, coauthors of Genetic Justice: DNA Data Banks, Criminal Investigations, and Civil Liberties. Bratislav Stankovic (Skopje): Patenting the Minotaur. Images of Frankenstein's monster or Faust's diabolic pact: We will never have an honest and open debate about in vitro fertilization or cloning until we can distinguish mythical fears from real and present dangers. Bioengineering synthetic life: James Collins makes discoveries about the actions of antibodies. Chromatin Evolving: Much about the function and evolution of the chromosome remains a mystery. How do hundreds of different types of cells all develop from the same genome? Here's an illustrated guide to epigenetics. Ten years on: Why a complete human genome mattered. 23andMe presents top 10 most interesting genetic findings of 2010. Gene Machine: Jonathan Rothberg's desktop decoder could kick off a revolution in medicine, food, energy, even consumer products — and ignite the next $100 billion technology market. Genetic engineering for good: Pam Roland modifies crops to feed the hungry and cut pesticide use. A new United Nations treaty on the equitable sharing of the planet’s wealth of genetic resources opened for signing. Engineers of the living world: By making bioengineered solutions to global problems openly available, we can transform the developing world. The new bioeconomy: How synthetic biology will bring us cheaper plastics by ruining the poorest nations on Earth (and more).

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