What’s Up in the World? - Weekly Digest 13/05/2016 Written by Harriet Lane-Tobin

Science, Sparkle, Sexuality, Cyber, and calling it like it “really” is. This week's digest contends with these issues through multiple fields and contexts.

Deborah Orr’s Guardian article challenges the implications of being able to manufacture and manipulate life. Orr details this in relation to the scientists maintaining embryo life outside of the womb. Orr argues this research is creating an ethical split between scientific freedom, public trust, and moral truths, whereby one must consider the middle ground of possibility and uncertainty to grow but not exploit. 



Tom Levitt’s Guardian article addresses when the pretty and perfumed go political. Focusing on international cosmetic brand Lush, Levitt details the impact of when companies go beyond ‘green washing’ and practice what they preach. As stated by Simon Constantine (son of the founder of Lush) in Levitt’s article, “people don’t just want to buy something, they want to belong to something” (Constantine cited in Levitt 2016).  An imagined community if you will joined by eco-awareness and bath bombs.

In the New York Times, Jay L. Garfield and Bryan W. Van Norden argue for a need to further diversify in the study of social sciences. Garfield and Norden’s argument is grounded in relation to the Euro-American philosophy curriculum as it stands. If those teaching within these schools won't meet the demand of diversity, a shift must occur right at the very fundamentals of how these schools are identified and named. In order to enact a change, one must acknowledge how something ‘really’ is first.

Beatrice Hazlehurst’s Vice article discusses the new trend of quantifying ones sexuality.  Hazlehurst shows how this is hardly a new phenomena, highlighting the Kinsey scale from the 1940’s. What is argued here is how a category grounded in social science, and social culture becomes expanded to consider the often unconsidered nuances of attraction.

Jillian Capewell’s Huffington Post article deals with the pervasive nature of the cyber in ‘cultural’ spaces. I found this article interesting as it raises a pressing issue about lived and documented experiences: Is one truly able witness what’s in front of them through the filtration of a cellphone screen? Or is it a sign or the times where the cyber and the culture will regretfully meet and alter all the rules of acceptability around art?