Duke Digest — July Edition

In today’s issue:

  • Can Video Games Help Reduce Civilian Shooting Casualties?
  • Testimony: Impact of Underwater Oil and Gas Exploration Seismic Activity on Marine Life
  • Testimony: Considering Limited Terms for Supreme Court Justices
  • Discovering an 18th Century Shipwreck off the North Carolina Coast
  • Op-Ed: ADA at 25, a Duke Student’s Viewpoint
  • The Reimagined Workspace


CAN VIDEO GAMES HELP REDUCE CIVILIAN SHOOTING CASUALTIES?
Researchers from the Duke University Institute for Brain Studies recently published a study exploring civilian shooting casualties which suggests that mistakes — times when a shooter targets an unintentional victim — arise from problems with attention — an “itchy brain,” rather than an “itchy trigger finger.”

The lead researcher, Adam Biggs, a visiting scholar at Duke’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, says this research is an important “first step” in determining links between cognition and shooting, as “cognitive tests and training offer some exciting new methods for enhancing shooting abilities, and thereby avoiding some of the most critical shooting errors, such as civilian casualties.”

This research was supported by a research grant from the Office of Army Research.

Brain Training May Help Avoid Civilian Casualties (today.duke.edu)

 

TESTIMONY: IMPACT OF UNDERWATER OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION SEISMIC ACTIVITY ON MARINE LIFE
Douglas Nowacek, Repass-Rodgers University Associate Professor of Conservation Technology at Duke University, testified before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee today (July 14) about the impacts of seismic activity on whales and other ocean life. His testimony included policy-relevant recommendations for how to reduce the potential harm.

Nowacek Testifies Before Congress on Impacts of Seismic Activity on Marine Life (Nicholas School of the Environment)

 

TESTIMONY: CONSIDERING LIMITED TERMS FOR SUPREME COURT JUSTICES
“I’ve become persuaded as a matter of constitutional design I think [term limits are] a good idea… I think regular changeover on the court, like an 18-year term, might be a very good idea and worth serious consideration,” said Neil Siegel, professor of law and political science at Duke Law School.

Siegel discussed judicial activism and potential reforms to the Supreme Court during an appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts on July 22.

Ted Cruz Wants to be Able to Oust Supreme Court Justices (Mother Jones)

Read Full Testimony:
Siegel testifies about recent Supreme Court rulings and judicial activism on July 22 (Duke University Law School)

 

DISCOVERING AN 18TH CENTURY SHIPWRECK OFF THE NORTH CAROLINA COAST
Scientists from Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of Oregon uncovered the remains of a previously unknown shipwreck while scanning sonar during a scientific expedition off the coast of North Carolina. James Delgado, director of NOAA’s Marine Heritage Program, says the shipwreck with its artifacts dating back to a pre-Civil War era, could be a trading vessel, providing a window into an industry that built our nation.

“This is an exciting find, and a vivid reminder that even with major advances in our ability to access and explore the ocean, the deep sea holds its secrets close,” said expedition leader Cindy Van Dover, director of the Duke University Marine Laboratory.

Funding for the research expedition came from the National Science Foundation grants.
Science Cruise Finds 18th Century Wreck (Duke Research)

 

OP-ED: ADA AT 25, A DUKE STUDENT’S VIEWPOINT
As the Americans with Disabilities Act nears the 25th anniversary of its passage, Harry S. Truman scholar, Duke senior, and advocate for disability rights Jay Ruckelshaus (T ‘16) says the law’s laudable goals of equality and access, are at risk to become a ceiling for disability rights’ in society.

“We should frame discussions of disability in terms of the constructive role all citizens can play, no matter their ability. We should recognize that all citizens owe one another a basic degree of respect and dignity,” writes Ruckelshaus.

Americans with Disability Act at 25 – successes but true inclusion still elusive: Jay Ruckelshaus (Cleveland.com)

 

THE REIMAGINED WORKSPACE
When one thinks of open-office design, Silicon Valley workspace innovators such as Google come to mind, with playground-style slides and mobile office furniture. At Duke, departments are finding unique ways to marry academic needs with office design.

For example, the Social Science Research Institute, housed in Gross Hall since 2013, uses a fish bowl design for staff offices, along with strategic common space, where employees and students can “collide” by meeting at worktables. The SSRI also boasts a micro-kitchen, writable glass walls and whiteboards, which encourage collaboration and conversation.

Unconventional Design at Duke Encourages Colleague Collaboration (Duke Today)