Faculty Magazine Articles




August 12, 2019

Robert J. Lefkowitz, James B. Duke Professor of medicine and recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

What aspect of your current life would have most surprised your college-age self? That I became a scientist.

What’s the best thing college students can do to prepare for careers that may not even now exist? Get as rounded an education as possible. And make sure you are well-versed in computer science, whatever [your] major.

August 12, 2019

Writer:

Dan Vermeer

I recently attended a panel discussion with three scholars debating life in the “Anthropocene era,” the idea that humans are now the dominant force in shaping the ecological and even geological fate of our planet. With talk about the destructive consequences of our carbon emissions, the devastation of industrial food systems, and the depletion of our natural resources, the discussion was pretty bleak.

August 12, 2019

Writer:

Stuart Pimm

I stand on a small tributary of the Irrawaddy River. Across it is Myanmar—formerly Burma: I’m about as far west in the Chinese province of Yunnan as I can be. Borders between countries fascinate, for they illuminate different experiments in how we manage our natural world. Across the river, the land is going up in smoke. There’s a dense blue haze. At night, I see dozens of small fires, while overhead a satellite maps them from their thermal infrared radiation.

August 8, 2019

Writer:

Scott Huler

For a guy who spends his time studying climate change, facing down the future of an Earth warming at an astonishing rate, under the management of a population that commonly resists even admitting its problems, Drew Shindell seems surprisingly optimistic.

August 8, 2019

Writer:

Lucas Hubbard

I started writing seriously seven years ago, and sometime in the intervening period, I became a procrastinator. Missing a deadline is a terrible, deep pit: At first, it’s to be avoided at all costs, and then, once experienced, it’s something never to be relived. And yet, I catch myself following the same patterns, flirting with the same disasters.

A graphic of numbers as in computer code

August 7, 2019

I was never supposed to teach a course on utopian and dystopian literature, especially not one in modern and contemporary American lit. I’m a nineteenth-century Americanist specializing in the classics (Hawthorne, Whitman, Melville, Stowe, Alcott)—all the stuff people hate reading in high school and then find mildly more digestible in college.

May 17, 2019

Writer:

Lucas Hubbard

WE ASKED

Jane Sherron De Hart ’58, A.M. ’61, Ph.D. ’67, professor emerita of history at the University of California-Santa Barbara and author of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life (Knopf), about what she learned about Justice Ginsburg from decades of research and countless interviews with her. De Hart received the graduate school’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award.

May 17, 2019

How did you respond personally to the instantly notorious case, from earlier this semester, of a Duke faculty member seeming to challenge Chinese students around their speaking Chinese in a social space?

Economist Sandy Darity, teaching

May 16, 2019

Writer:

Lucas Hubbard

The clip lasts just five minutes, but little about it seems right. Sure, Sandy Darity is talking about one of his ideas to combat the racial wealth gap, but absent are his laidback nature, his ubiquitous laugh. It’s July 2018, and Darity’s the guest on Bloomberg’s What’d You Miss? His posture and movement— hunched; fidgety—reflect a man aware of the stage and of the fact that he has brought his ideas, at least briefly, to the center of it.