Should Confederate Statues Be Removed From Public Spaces?

Political scientist Kerry Haynie struck a note of caution in removing the Confederate monuments. “I am fearful as an educator that we will forget the past,” says Haynie, director of Duke’s Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender. “You often see now in textbooks and various places almost a denial of a slavery past or a racist past. One of the purposes those monuments serve is to remind us of that past.”

Read More at WJLA

Enrollment Impeded For Undocumented Kids in NC

Despite federal laws that guarantee access to public education for undocumented children, the majority of school districts in North Carolina are impeding enrollment, a new report from the Children’s Law Clinic at Duke University finds. “We hope that school districts will use this report to review their enrollment practices to ensure that they are compliant with the law and are welcoming to immigrant children,” says Jane Wettach, director of the clinic.

Read More in The Progressive Pulse

School Segregation Is Back, Big Time

Economist Hugh Macartney and a colleague published a paper this month in National Bureau of Economic Research illustrating that local school boards can do quite a bit to fight back against racial segregation. Getting involved with school board elections — voting in them, volunteering in campaigns or even running for office — is an excellent way for those interested in fighting racial inequality to make a difference on a local level, they found.

Read More in Salon

New History of The Right an Intellectual Flashpoint

A phalanx of largely libertarian critics has waged an online battle against historian Nancy MacLean over her book, while her sympathizers call the response a Koch-backed smear campaign. At the heart of the book’s purported plot to threaten democracy is a Nobel-winning economist whose ideas MacLean characterizes as “diabolical” and “wicked”: James McGill Buchanan.

Read More in The Chronicle of Higher Education

South Carolina Schools are Failing Students Like Me

“The state of South Carolina perpetuates what’s called the ‘Corridor of Shame,’ a string of rural school districts where students receive inferior educational opportunities,” writes Ehime Ohue. “As a rising sophomore at Duke University, I now see what the phrase means. I was educated in one of those districts from Head Start to 12th grade. I know firsthand the issues these students face.”

Read More in The Washington Post

HONEST Act Needs Honest Engagement of Scientific Community

“The bill as written could have far-reaching consequences that would ultimately hamper or undermine the scientific process generally and EPA’s work specifically,” writes statistician Jerry Reiter and a colleague. “The goals of transparency in government and data accessibility must be balanced with the necessity to protect individuals’ and businesses’ privacy.”

Read More in The Hill

In Congress, Even Lawmakers’ Degrees are a Partisan Issue

Does going to an elite college make for a more effective legislator? That’s what research scientist Jonathan Wai and co-authors argue in a forthcoming paper. However, political scientist Nicholas Carnes (not one of the co-authors) notes that we shouldn’t overstate the extent to which education alone affects policy makers’ decisions. It’s important to also consider factors, he says, like the regions of the country elite-educated members represent and the ideologies of their constituents, Carnes says.

Read More in The Chronicle of Higher Education

How Will Trump Draw Immigrant Scientists to The US?

This question comes from Duke’s “Glad You Asked” podcast. Molecular biologist Raphael Valdivia wonders if the country’s legacy of welcoming scientists and experts from all over the world is at risk because of the new administration’s crackdown on immigration and rejection of certain scientifically accepted concepts, like man-made climate change.

Read More on PRI

Will The March For Science Backfire By Politicizing Science?

“The science community’s effort to more actively engage in the public sphere could backfire. If science begins to be seen as a “liberal” pursuit, it risks losing public favor and the ability to attract the best talent,” writes Megan Mullin, associate professor of environmental politics. “If, however, science advocates keep the focus on supporting scientific research in all its forms, scientists may be able to protect their work from cuts in funding and support — even if the broader goals of evidence-based policy-making must take a back seat.”

Read More in The Washington Post

Trump Reverses Course on Iran Deal; Free Speech on Campuses

Sanford School professor David Schanzer and Scott Briggaman of WPTF/NCN News in Raleigh discuss the deepening political crisis in Venezuela and President Trump’s admission that the Iran deal is working. In light of another student protests of a right-wing speaker, Schanzer offers his insight on the state of the First Amendment on college campuses across America.

Listen at On Security

NCAA: The Most Powerful Political Organization in The U.S.


“NCAA pressure was the game-changer with North Carolina’s bathroom bill. It appeared that the law would stay in place until the state’s basketball fans realized there would be no tournament games played here,” says anthropologist Orin Starn. “And so we witnessed the unlikely spectacle of the much-criticized billion-dollar sports leviathan at the forefront of defending LGBT rights.”

Read More in The Boston Globe

How to Solve Controversial Issues Like Climate Change

“The lesson for all leaders: Start with problems, not solutions. People will discount the evidence if they don’t like the fix you are proposing. This is particularly important in today’s extremely fractured world. The first step in moving forward during such great polarization isn’t offering solutions, it’s agreeing a problem exists,” writes Fuqua School Dean Bill Boulding.

Read More on LinkedIn