Fortnightly links: Rohingya asylum seekers, cognition, disaster media, and more

(United to End Genocide/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
(United to End Genocide/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This moving personal essay by Keane Shum examines the plight of Rohingya asylum seekers; “In humanitarian work, or maybe just in the ubiquity of everything in our internet age, we are necessarily desensitised by this still common brutality. But what I can never seem to get over is how medieval, even ancient, it all seems.”

How does poverty affect the brain? A new study in Bangladesh, reported on in Scientific American, explores how factors such as malnutrition and sanitation affect children’s cognitive development.

The Hu Line is China’s “forgotten frontier”; an imaginary diagonal demarcation that has great demographic, environmental, and political significance, writes Colum Murphy in the first in a series of posts on China blog Sixth Tone.

Our World in Data draws on academic research by Thomas Eisensee and David Strömberg to look at the types of disaster that make it into the US media. It also looks at disaster location and media coverage. The Pacific does not fare well.

On related note, in this Vox explainer psychologist Paul Slovic seeks to explain the limits of human compassion.

An interesting podcast on Bloggingheads looks at the drivers of support for ISIS.

On the EconTalk podcast Chris Blattman replies to Lant Pritchett and offers his views on the best way for aid to help tackle poverty.

Camilla Burkot

Camilla Burkot was a Research Officer at the Development Policy Centre, and Editor of the Devpolicy Blog, from 2015 to 2017. She has a background in social anthropology and holds a Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and has field experience in Eastern and Southern Africa, and PNG. She now works for the Burnet Institute.

Terence Wood

Terence Wood is a Research Fellow at the Development Policy Centre. He heads our program of research into Australian and New Zealand aid. Terence’s research interests include aid policy, the politics of aid, and governance in developing countries. He has recently finished his PhD, studying voter behaviour in the Solomon Islands elections. Prior to commencing PhD study Terence worked for the New Zealand government aid program.

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