Learning a new language

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Rewind to five years ago. I am entering a bar in Helsinki with some friends and we spot a bunch of students in the corner. Come join us, Laura! We are discussing humanism. I freeze because that is a term I do not know well and I think I will have nothing to say. Those at […]

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Dietary advice and lobbyists: the case of sugar

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As if dietary recommendations have not been debated enough. Well, the news this week did not bring any relief. An article published in JAMA Internal Medicine tells the story about Big Sugar lobbyists’ influence on dietary recommendations in the U.S. in the 1950s. Put simply, some 50 years ago the sugar industry paid Harvard researchers to produce research […]

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The Dilemma and Difficulty of Being an Aid Worker in Ethiopia (or elsewhere)

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You may or may not have noticed, but in Ethiopia a generation is protesting towards the ruling party EPRDF, having been in power since in 1991. These days, Ethiopia is mostly in the news for its booming economy, but in the past weeks, dozens if not hundreds of protesters have been killed in protests in […]

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Tips from professors to graduate students

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What if you could ask professors anything about graduate school? Me and my fellow students at an introductory course were given this opportunity earlier this week. We tapped into the wisdom of five professors sitting in front of the classroom, ready to answer our questions. Here goes, from professors to students, things you need to know about […]

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American hunger

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Tampa is my new hometown. It is a city which belongs to the greater Tampa Bay Area, home to roughly 4.5 million people. I am shocked to find out that 700 000 people in this area are food insecure. One in four children and one in six adults have trouble putting food on the table or […]

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First Day of Grad School

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Everything in America is bigger, right? My campus is so big that it has its own bus system. You can get lost. I did. That’s how big it is. Yet it wasn’t this aspect of it that I paid attention to during my first day. My first thoughts were: It’s too hot and I’m old. The campus was swarming with […]

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Here We Go

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2016, I’ll look back at you one day when I’m old and say: that was the year we moved to Florida! I was thirty years old and happier than ever. I felt the world was in turbulent times. Or was that simply something all generations had in common? A feeling of the world being in worse […]

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Tips for (international) students applying to grad schools in the United States

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Many people have asked me how I got into grad school in the U.S. Did you apply independently? How will you finance it all? Aren’t tuition fees impossible to cover? These are the most common questions. So here are some tips for anyone who is interested in applying. The application round for PhD studies starting in Fall […]

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Famine, on stage

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In 1994, South African Kevin Carter took a photograph on an assignment in Sudan. In this photograph we see a small child lying on the ground, visibly undernourished and weak, while a vulture stands behind the child, as if stalking it. The photo became an icon. It won a Pulitzer price. We think about famine and […]

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Fat shaming is not the way to go to beat obesity

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The news keep flooding in. The world now has more obese people than hungry people, according to a new study published in Lancet which assembled body mass index data of almost 20 million people over the course of nearly 40 years. Diabetes, according to a recent report by WHO, is now the world’s 8th most […]

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