Happy New Year, and, if you signed up during the holidays to receive this newsletter, welcome to The Conversation. Twice a week, Caroline Southey (in Johannesburg) and I (in London) deliver this digest of key articles and podcasts from across an international network that produces live news analysis and research-based content by academics. To read the journalism as it is published, you may also wish to keep an eye on The Conversation’s Global homepage.

Do let us know what you think about the work we do. The Conversation exists to provide trustworthy analysis and explanation of events and developments shaping our world. So, we’re eager to ensure it reaches you in a way that’s accessible, and useful.

In coming days, as our bureaux of professional editors from Boston to Jakarta return to publishing a full range of work, we’ll highlight journalism that we feel is important, and internationally relevant. Just as they did in 2021, expert authors will share their research-based thoughts here on subjects such as the climate crisis and COVID. Indeed our global spread of researchers allowed us to be ahead of other media with critical coverage of the omicron variant as it emerged.

We’ll be looking at geopolitical events as they unfold, from Eastern Europe to the South China Sea, and providing insights from the global academic community on everything from scientific breakthroughs, to the arts and the international economy.

These emails also include regular links to our podcasts, including the network-wide The Conversation Weekly. So, stay tuned, there’s lots to come in 2022. And for now, check out some of the work below that we’ve published in recent days and weeks.

Thank you, and stay safe.

Stephen Khan

Executive Editor, The Conversation International


How COVID-19 transformed genomics and changed the handling of disease outbreaks forever

Angela Beckett, University of Portsmouth; Samuel Robson, University of Portsmouth

Revolutions in genome sequencing have been used to track COVID-19 in near real time.

Rioters are tear-gassed as they storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

American support for conspiracy theories and armed rebellion isn’t new – we just didn’t believe it before the Capitol insurrection

Amanda J. Crawford, University of Connecticut

Almost eight years before the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack, nearly one-third of Americans surveyed – and 44% of Republicans – said armed rebellion might soon be necessary in the US to protect liberties.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Epa/Ian Langsdon

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: father of South Africa’s ‘rainbow nation’

P. Pratap Kumar, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Archbishop Desmond Tutu didn’t stop his fight for human rights once apartheid came to a formal end in 1994. He continued to speak critically against politicians who abused their power.

Ghislaine Maxwell now faces the prospect of years behind bars. Elizabeth Williams via AP

Ghislaine Maxwell guilty in Epstein sex trafficking trial: What the case revealed about female sex offenders

Poco Kernsmith, Wayne State University; Erin B. Comartin, Wayne State University; Sheryl Kubiak, Wayne State University

After five days of deliberations, a jury found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of five counts relating to the sexual abuse of girls.

The Conversation in French and Spanish

La correspondance de Marie-Antoinette aux rayons X

Anne Michelin, Muséum national d’histoire naturelle (MNHN)

La correspondance de Marie-Antoinette et du comte de Fersen a été soigneusement censurée. Par qui et pourquoi ? Un nouveau travail basé sur l'imagerie dévoile une partie des réponses.

Factores de riesgo para caer en la adicción a las compras

Francisca López Torrecillas, Universidad de Granada

No siempre compramos por placer ni, desde luego, por necesidad. Para muchas personas, comprar compulsivamente y luego arrepentirse de lo comprado desvela un comportamiento adictivo con consecuencias graves.