What does post-truth mean for a philosopher?

AC Grayling Image copyright NCH
Image caption AC Grayling says a post-truth world threatens the "fabric of democracy"

"Post-truth" has come to describe a type of campaigning that has turned the political world upside down.

Fuelled by emotive arguments rather than fact-checks, it was a phrase that tried to capture the gut-instinct, anti-establishment politics that swept Donald Trump and Brexit supporters to victory.

Oxford Dictionaries made it the word of the year, defining it as where "objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief".

But what does this new world mean for academics and scientists whose whole purpose is trying to establish objective facts?

AC Grayling, public thinker, master of the New College of the Humanities, and Remain campaigner, views the post-truth world with undisguised horror.

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Oxford academics warning of Brexit 'disaster'

Oxford
Image caption MPs held the select committee hearing on Brexit at Oxford University

A "hard Brexit" would be the "biggest disaster" to have hit the UK's universities for many years, a university head told MPs.

Alistair Fitt, vice chancellor of Oxford Brookes, was giving evidence to the Education Select Committee, holding a special away-day session at the University of Oxford.

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Sir Michael Wilshaw's 10 last questions

Wilshaw
Image caption Sir Michael Wilshaw has been a controversial head of the education watchdog

When Sir Michael Wilshaw steps down this week as head of Ofsted, it will see the departure of English education's most dominant figure.

Outspoken and influential, this former London head teacher, who will be succeeded by Amanda Spielman, often set the agenda more than education secretaries.

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10 ways to be the cleverest country

  • 30 November 2016
  • From the section Business
Pokemon characters in Singapore Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Conformist cultures might have a head start in education rankings?

When it comes to global education rankings it always seems to be the same story. Asian educational superpowers take all the top places and everyone else goes in for bouts of doubt and recrimination.

For education ministers across most of the world this must be a gloomy time, trying to come up with an upbeat explanation for another round of mid-table mediocrity.

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'I got to know death': Syrian youths start again in London

Syrian refugees leave the Calais Jungle camp Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Young people were moved from the Calais Jungle camp, but what happened next?

"I was introduced to the concept of death. My cousins died, my brother was mutilated, my parents died.

"I got to know death.

Read full article 'I got to know death': Syrian youths start again in London

Working hard and going backwards

Brian Morris
Image caption Brian Morris is a volunteer in a food bank, which now has to help people who are working

Travelling to work can be grim enough at the best of times - but imagine if you got there and were told there was no work and you had to go home again without getting paid.

That is the kind of experience described by workers trying to keep afloat in a job market of casual jobs, agency work and zero-hour contracts.

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School rebels in 'head teachers' spring'

downing street Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Head teachers have been knocking on the door of Downing Street for emergency funding

There is something of a "head teachers' spring" going on at the moment.

It is the politest uprising, but it is giving ministers some very difficult homework over how schools in England are run and funded.

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Why grammars refuse to be written off

grammar pupils
Image caption Facing the future with confidence: Pupils at Harold Hill in the early 1960s

When Norma Jennings talks about grammar schools, she does not talk about statistics or education policy, she talks about her memories of teachers and how her schooldays still make such a strong impression decades later.

The debate about creating new grammar schools in England has heard many attacks on the negative impact of selection.

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Why do Finnish pupils succeed with less homework?

homework arguments Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Homework can be the cause of friction in families - but not in Finland

How do Finnish youngsters spend less time in school, get less homework and still come out with some of the best results in the world?

The question gets to the heart of a lot of parental angst about hard work and too much pressure on children in school.

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Mosul's citizens face 'frenzy' and fear of IS

forces approaching Mosul Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption As Iraqi forces close in on Mosul, the city's residents face the anger of the Islamic State authorities

The forces of so-called Islamic State, now besieged in Mosul, are in a state of "frenzy" inside the city, increasingly blaming and terrorising the local population and preparing to conceal themselves if defeated.

These are the close-up views provided by academics from Mosul, who have maintained covert contacts linking the city with the outside world.

Read full article Mosul's citizens face 'frenzy' and fear of IS