DC Digest – December 1, 2014

In Today’s Issue:

  • Nicholas School Prof to Testify on Super Pollutants Act
  • Dukies on the Move
  • Higher Ed Letter Urges Appropriators to Keep Pell Grant Surplus in Pell Program
  • NEH Creates New Public Scholar Program Supporting Popular Scholarly Books in Humanities
  • Duke Research into Rat Massage Featured in AAU Scientific Enquirer
  • DC Event to Feature Duke-DUMC Joint Project on Child Mental Health

NICHOLAS SCHOOL PROF TO TESTIFY ON SUPER POLLUTANTS ACT
Dr. Drew Shindell, professor of climate sciences at the Nicholas School of the Environment, will testify before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on December 2nd. Shindell’s testimony will address “Societal Benefits from Reductions in Emissions of Methane and Black Carbon.”

Read More:
Hearing Info (epw.senate.gov)

DUKIES ON THE MOVE
On Thursday, November 20, Cary Pugh (T ’87) was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be a Judge for the United States Tax Court.  Tamara W. Ashford (T ’91) was also confirmed to the U.S. Tax Court at the same time.  Pugh was nominated for the post by President Obama back in June, and Ashford was nominated in September 2013.

Are you or other Dukies you know making a move in DC?  Please send tips to Landy Elliott –landy.elliott@duke.edu.

Read More:
President Obama Nominates Cary Douglas Pugh to the United States Tax Court (whitehouse.gov)
President Obama Nominates Tamara W. Ashford to the United States Tax Court (whitehouse.gov)

 

HIGHER ED LETTER URGES APPROPRIATORS TO KEEP PELL GRANT SURPLUS IN PELL PROGRAM
A group of 33 higher education associations sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee on November 24 urging them not to use the current Pell Grant surplus to support other programs in the FY15 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill.

Led by the American Council on Education, the letter notes that reports have circulated of a proposal to transfer $2 billion in Pell Grant funding to other programs within the Labor-HHS-Education funding bill. Regardless of the merits of other programs, says the letter, such an action would be “dangerously short-sighted.” The letter adds, “…we oppose any efforts to weaken this proven, successful program by depleting the current surplus. With Pell Grants projected to return to significant shortfalls in the near future, stripping existing funding will needlessly endanger the near-term health and stability of the program.”

Read More:
ACE-Led Letter on Pell Surplus (pdf)

NEH CREATES NEW PUBLIC SCHOLAR PROGRAM SUPPORTING POPULAR SCHOLARLY BOOKS IN HUMANITIES
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced a new grant opportunity that encourages the publication of nonfiction books that apply serious humanities scholarship to subjects of general interest and appeal.

Books supported through this program might present a narrative history, tell the stories of important individuals, analyze significant texts, provide a synthesis of ideas, revive interest in a neglected subject, or examine the latest thinking on a topic. Most importantly, they should open up important and appealing subjects for wider audiences by presenting significant humanities topics in a way that is accessible to general readers.

Application guidelines and a list of F.A.Q.’s for the Public Scholar program are available online at www.NEH.gov. The application deadline for the first cycle of Public Scholar grants is March 3, 2015.

Read More:
NEH Creates New “Public Scholar” Grant Program Supporting Popular Scholarly Books in the Humanities (neh.gov)


DUKE RESEARCH INTO RAT MASSAGE FEATURED IN AAU SCIENTIFIC ENQUIRER
As reported in the September 22 DC Digest, a team of scientists at Duke and the University of Miami received the Golden Goose Award earlier this year for their research into rat pup massage. This federally-funded research led to the groundbreaking discovery of the importance of touch to human development and the introduction of massage as a dramatically successful element of treatment for premature infants.

The team’s project has also been featured in the current edition of AAU’s Scientific Enquirer, a publication put out to highlight the need for the federal government to invest in research, even when the science “sounds funny.”

Read More:
Scientific Enquirer: Why Cutting Funding for Funny-Sounding Research Isn’t Funny (aau.edu)

DC EVENT TO FEATURE DUKE-DUMC JOINT PROJET ON CHILD MENTAL HEALTH
Duke in Washington, Duke University’s Office of Federal Relations, and DUHS’s Office of Government Relations will host a briefing and reception in the Capitol Visitors Center on December 4 to highlight the Duke Information and Child Mental Health Initiative.  The interdisciplinary project seeks to harness the power of information science to revolutionize the way we diagnose and treat early childhood mental health disorders, like autism and anxiety disorders.

Read More:
Putting Big Data to Work in Autism Diagnosis (today.duke.edu – event info in sidebar)