Duke Digest — July 22, 2016

  • Fuqua Research Influences HBCU Capital Improvement Act
  • Chatterji: Why CEOs are Speaking Out on Social Issues
  • Lemur’s DNA Gives Scientists Window into the Past
  • Siegel: Supreme Court’s Reassuring – and Concerning – Abortion Ruling
  • Duke Interns Go to Washington

FUQUA RESEARCH INFLUENCES HBCU CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT ACT
Bill Mayew, professor at the Fuqua School of Business, traveled to Washington, D.C. on July 13 to discuss his research that found historically black colleges and universities pay more to float bonds in the market than other schools. He also found evidence race was a factor in the higher costs.

The research, released earlier this year, drew the attention in Congress and was a factor in the HBCU Capital Financing Improvement Act, which was introduced by Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12) and passed the House July 11.

Bond Market Research Spurs Congressional Action (fuqua.duke.edu)

CHATTERJI: WHY CEOs ARE SPEAKING OUT ON SOCIAL ISSUES
Aaron Chatterji, associate professor of business at Fuqua School of Business, discussed the trend of CEOs and other executives speaking out publicly on the recent police shootings in a Fortune.com opinion piece, saying in part that CEOs have become activists and discussing research that shows activism of this kind can increase willingness to buy a company’s products among consumers sympathetic to the cause.

Chatterji concludes that “a hyper-partisan and hyper-plugged in America portends more CEO activism and more backlash. The most astute CEO activists will speak authentically on selected issues that matter to them personally, and make a measurable impact on their audience.”

Professor Chatterji has previously commented on this topic in the New York Times and Harvard Business Review.

Why Apple’s Tim Cook and Other CEOs Are Speaking Out On Police Shootings (fortune.com)

LEMUR’S DNA GIVES SCIENTISTS WINDOW INTO THE PAST
New research from Anne Yoder, professor of biology, and colleagues is helping to rethink a view, held since the 1920s, that the island of Madagascar was covered in lush forests before the first humans arrived 20,000 years ago.

Duke graduate student and study co-author C. Ryan Campbell analyzed the genomes of mouse lemur species sampled from fifteen sites around the island using a technique called double-digest restriction-site associated DNA sequencing. Teacup-sized mouse lemurs are the world’s smallest and fastest-reproducing primates and the data Campbell analyzed span 1000,000 sites across the genomes, and represent 500,000 years of genetic change within five species of the mouse lemur family tree.

The research could help shed light on why extinct animals like the 350-pound giant lemurs and the 10-foot-tall elephant birds all died out within a thousand years of human arrival.

This study was funded by grants from the Duke Tropical Conservation Initiative and the National Science Foundation (DEB-1354610).

Lemur DNA Tells of Madagascar’s Forested Past (today.duke)
The absurdly adorable mouse lemur lets scientists travel back in time (washingtonpost.com)

SIEGEL: SUPREME COURT’S REASSURING – AND CONCERNING – ABORTION RULING
Neil Siegel, the David W. Ichel Professor of Law and professor of political science at Duke University, reflected on the Supreme Court’s recent rulings regarding abortion law as part of the American Constitution Society’s blog symposium. As a part of the post, Siegel wrote that the decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is “both reassuring and concerning.”

The Supreme Court’s Reassuring — and Concerning — Abortion Ruling (acs law.org)

 

DUKE INTERNS GO TO WASHINGTON
Each summer, dozens of Duke undergraduate and graduate students head to Washington, D.C. for a chance to complement their academic classes with real-world experience through internships with government agencies, non-profits or D.C. firms. The students also have the opportunity to experience the Duke community first-hand, with networking events like a recent panel on  how to make the most of their internships taking place throughout the summer. Live on the OGR blog, Q&A’s with four interns.