What do we expect from work?

By Emma Brooks

A recent conversation with friends got me thinking about work: what do we want from a job, do we want to be able to work as much as possible, or do we value our holidays more? Having recently worked the equivalent of a French man’s working week in three days, and having worked in France, England and Switzerland, it has often got me wondering about the differences between these countries’ work ethic. Read more of this post


Gender equality: what do we really want?

By Emma Brooks

A recent study by the LSE shows that “having more women in the boardroom improves a company’s governance but can actually have a negative effect on its bottom line.” The research shows that women have a more productive effect on a company, for example by improving decision-making and by setting the example in the office with good attendance records. This, in turn, motivates their fellow male workers. However the odd thing in this recent piece of research is that it shows that having more women in high positions within a company, can often be counterproductive. Read more of this post

Recycling old presidents

This week, former US president Bill Clinton went to N. Korea in what was originally a highly secret meeting. His sudden reappearance on the international political scene caught me a little off guard, and made me think a little of an actor who had been out of the limelight for a while, suddenly coming back with one or two new movies and doing lots of promotion for them, as a way to get back in to the Hollywood machine. Can this also work for politicians? Do they fall out of the political limelight and then manage to manoeuvre their way back in? It would seem that they can. The second person I thought of right after this incident, was Tony Blair. Surely he also qualifies as a “recycled ex-president” (prime minister). And what about Putin, and Berlusconi? Do they count as well? Read more of this post

Should we decriminalize drugs?

By Emma Brooks

With a report recently published on how to tackle the drug problem, it makes one wonder what exactly the right approach to it might be. The report suggests that the police should focus more on the violence surrounding drug trafficking rather than simply carrying out drug raids; and moving drug dealers from more residential areas to industrial ones so as to lessen their impact on the neighbourhood. However one can wonder whether or not this would really be efficient and if it isn’t, then what is the approach to be taken? Read more of this post

Is it right to castrate paedophiles?

By Emma Brooks

Last week my attention was drawn by an article in a Swiss newspaper stating that the group “Swissmedic” wants to commercialize a chemical castrator to be used against paedophiles. I was surprised to hear that such a thing existed and was even considered for use, even though Switzerland can sometimes be quite old fashioned in its societal values. Read more of this post