Editor's note

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is facing an unprecedented popular uprising against his decades-long rule. The country’s academics are involved in protests that have brought hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets, though their role isn’t as big as it has been historically. Willow Berridge describes the instrumental role that they played in bringing down previous Sudanese regimes and negotiating the transitions that followed.

Meanwhile, Sudan’s neighbour Libya has problems of its own. It’s seen an escalation of conflict in recent weeks and the fighting is nearing the capital, Tripoli. Jacob Mundy explains that what happens next all depends on Khalifa Haftar, whose Libyan National Army now controls large swathes of territory.

There’s been a lot of discussion in recent years about the idea of “fake news” and why it should more accurately be called misinformation, disinformation or propaganda. What’s often ignored, though, is how this phenomenon plays out in academic circles. In today’s episode of Pasha, several academics discuss the issue.

Moina Spooner

Commissioning Editor: East Africa

Top Stories

Sudanese protesters are demanding the departure of President Omar al-Bashir. EPA-EFE/STRINGER

Academics have shaped Sudan’s political history, and may do it again

Willow Berridge, Newcastle University

Sudan's academics have been instrumental in bringing regime change and negotiating transitions.

Militants stand on gun-mounted vehicles as they prepare to move to the frontline to join forces loyal to the UN-backed unity government, in Tripoli. EPA-EFE/Stringer

Libya conflict boils down to the man driving the war – Khalifa Haftar

Jacob Mundy, Colgate University

A serious concern is the possibility of a long, drawn-out siege of Libya's capital, Tripoli.

Science + Technology

South Africa’s new science policy holds promise, but there are gaps

Harris Andoh, Tshwane University of Technology

South Africa's White Paper doesn't outline how science, innovation and technology can improve ordinary people's lives.

How the open access model hurts academics in poorer countries

Brenda Wingfield, University of Pretoria; Bob Millar, University of Pretoria

An urgent discussion is needed around the cost of research publications.

Arts + Culture

Making sense of the world: a walk down Jubilee Street with Nick Cave

Abigail Gardner, University of Gloucestershire

Rock artist Nick Cave finds poetry in the darkness - his song "Jubilee Street" is an example.

How real journalism can thrive in the fake-news era: Lessons from Brazil

Marcos Barros, Grenoble École de Management (GEM)

In a context of defiance against media, how can journalists recover the public's trust and their image of "truth tellers"? Brazil provides a few examples.


Pasha 13: Fake news and fallacies part 2

Ozayr Patel, The Conversation

To fight fake news, it's crucial that science is spread in an understandable way.

Pasha 14: Fake news and fallacies part 3

Ozayr Patel, The Conversation

"Fake news" even rears its head in academic spaces.

From our international editions

Islamic State: the ‘caliphate’ is off the map for now, but will evolve in dangerous ways

Harout Akdedian, Central European University

Its defeat in Syria may now give way to new dangers.

The generals who challenged Netanyahu ran a campaign largely devoid of substance

Guy Ziv, American University School of International Service

They wanted to oust Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu in Tuesday's election, but the failure of three centrist generals to talk about key issues may have made Netanyahu the apparent winner.

8 things you may not know about Leonardo da Vinci, on the 500th anniversary of his death

Richard Gunderman, Indiana University

Dead five centuries, Leonardo retains a rock star's fame, well known around the world by just one name. Here, some facts about the man and his legacy.

A thousand years ago, the Catholic Church paid little attention to homosexuality

Lisa McClain, Boise State University

Pope Francis has discouraged homosexual men from entering priesthood. Prior to the 12th century, even celebrated priests could write about same-sex desires and the church paid little attention.

En Francais

L’odeur de la nature : une composante de la biodiversité

Michel RENOU, Inra

Les plantes utilisent des molécules volatiles pour communiquer entre elles ou avec les insectes. Modifier le « paysage odorant » c’est aussi attaquer la biodiversité.

Le Conseil économique, social et environnemental : une institution méconnue, méprisée… et précieuse

Vassili Joannides de Lautour, Grenoble École de Management (GEM)

La Vᵉ République dispose d’une institution capable d’anticiper les grands mouvements sociaux, d’apprécier les évolutions de la société et de s’en faire le porte-voix.


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