Duke Digest — September 23, 2014

In today’s issue:
  • Election Discussion Kicks Off, Next Up: Healthcare
  • Golden Goose Awards Honor Duke Researchers
  • Duke Med, UNC Scientists Make Case for NIH Funding
  • Duke University Study Cited as Senator Introduces Legislation
  • Duke’s Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Duke Law to Host Symposium on Internet Regulations in Washington, D.C. Oct. 17
  • Faculty Profile: Engineer Looks for Answers in Mountains and Molehills of Data
  • Dukies on the Move
ELECTION DISCUSSION KICKS OFF, NEXT UP: HEALTHCARE
The election discussion series co-hosted by DIW, Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations, and the Forum for Scholars and Publics kicked off last week with an overview of the mid-term elections.
Over the next seven weeks, as candidates are campaigning, audiences and experts on campus and in Washington, will come together each Thursday to delve into an issue central to the mid-term elections. The panels will connect Duke University faculty with experts in Washington, D.C. via teleconference to generate conversation’s between campus and the nation’s capital.
Read More:
Mid-Term Overview Recap (governmentrelations.duke.edu)
Next Event: Healthcare (registration link)
GOLDEN GOOSE AWARDS HONOR DUKE RESEARCHERS
Eight researchers, including a team from Duke, whose work might have sounded odd or impractical at the time it was conducted, but which led to major human and economic benefits, were honored at the third annual Golden Goose Awards ceremony held on September 18 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
Veteran journalist Miles O’Brien served as master of ceremonies for the event, at which four Members of the House and Senate spoke and the award winners participated in a roundtable discussion about their work. The program included a video explaining the nature and importance of the awardees’ research.
During the roundtable discussion, the awardees stressed their concern that tight federal research funding has made university researchers and agency program staff risk-adverse, and is prompting many bright young scientists and engineers to forego the difficulties of academic research careers.
Saul Schanberg (deceased), Tiffany Martini Field, Cynthia Kuhn, and Gary Evoniuk, scientists at Duke University and the University of Miami whose research, which included massaging rat pups, 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.
DUKE MED, UNC SCIENTISTS MAKE CASE FOR NIH FUNDING
Scientists from Duke University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were in Washington on Thursday of last week to lobby on Capitol Hill for more funding for the National Institutes of Health for scientific research.
Their trip was part of a larger effort with about 50 associations nationwide in what’s become an annual rally in recent years. Participants include researchers and people advocating for research leading to cures for particular diseases.

 

DUKE UNIVERSITY STUDY CITED AS U.S. SENATOR INTRODUCES LEGISLATION
Last week, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced legislation that would ban 10 flame retardants from upholstered furniture and children’s products, citing a study by Duke University and the Environmental Working Group. The study, published on August 4, 2014 found that children are at particular risk from flame retardants, because they come in closer contact with the products and dust particles that contain the toxins, and they are still in development.

Read More:
Sen. Schumer moves to ban some flame retardants (CNBC)
Flame Retardants Make Dust Bunnies Dangerous (research.duke.edu)

 

DUKE’S ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT
Last week Duke celebrated Entrepreneurship Week, meaning calendars on campus were full of events such as How to be a Rockstar Startup Employee,” “Building Entrepreneurial Women,” and “Innovation Co-Lab Studio Night.” The week also turned a spotlight on faculty research that leads to new technologies, companies, and, of course, jobs.

To learn more about faculty entrepreneurship at Duke, check out:

 

DUKE LAW TO HOST SYMPOSIUM ON INTERNET REGULATION IN WASHINGTON, D.C. OCT. 17
Join Duke Law School’s Center for Innovation Policy on Friday, October 17, 2014, at the Keck Center (Room 100) in Washington, D.C., for Internet Regulation 2020, a symposium that discuss the future of regulation of broadband networks and what that may mean for innovators, policymakers, and users.

For the last few years, debates about Internet regulation in the U.S. have focused on the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet order and now its May 2014 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Beyond the current debates loom longer-term questions about the regulation of broadband networks. What can and should the Internet be in 2020? What is the appropriate regulatory approach to take in the next few years, and how should it be implemented?

Register now as space is limited.

 

FACULTY PROFILE: ENGINEER LOOKS FOR ANSWERS IN MOUNTAINS AND MOLEHILLS OF DATA
Henry Pfister recently joined both the electrical and computer engineering department in Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering as well as the interdisciplinary Information Initiative at Duke (iiD). An expert in extracting information from both mountains and molehills of data, he will tackle informatics challenges in realms such as personalized health care, compressed sensing and wireless communications.

In today’s digitized world, many companies and research enterprises are compiling statistics at an exponential rate. In some fields, however, the sample size is too small to find trends and patterns in the data. In either case, it is Pfister’s job to create graphical models and algorithms to infer answers to the questions being asked of the data.

Read More:
Henry Pfister: Inferring Answers through Graphical Models (pratt.duke.edu)

 

DUKIES ON THE MOVE
Nia-Malika Henderson (T ’96),  currently a political reporter at the Washington Post, is joining The Fix political team, Post editors announced earlier this month.

Have you or another Duke alum you know recently moved jobs? Please send new contact info to Alyssa Dack at alyssa.dack@duke.edu to continue receiving updates.