Ben Shepard
Ben Shepard

Duke News

Keep up with our core and affiliated faculty in the national and international news. Read their op-ed pieces, quotes and interviews, and cutting-edge research findings.

Sat, Jan 05

In Memoriam – Dr. Richard Payne

Dr. Rich PayneWe are saddened by the recent death of our Faculty Affiliate, Rich Payne, Esther Colliflower Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Divinity. Dr. Payne died Jan. 3 at age 67

Recently retired from his endowed chair in Divinity and Medicine, Rich was an internationally known expert in pain relief, care for those near death, oncology, and neurology. His focus was always upon the patient and, even in the heat of the opioid crisis, he remained a tireless advocate for patients in chronic pain.

The grandson of a sharecropper and the ninth of 14 siblings, Rich received his BA in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale and his MD from Harvard Medical School. Before coming to Duke, he led the Pain and Palliative Care Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital.

Dr. Payne retired from Duke Divinity School in 2017, where he served as a faculty member for the Theology, Medicine, and Culture initiative, an expansion from the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life, which he helped to launch and direct.

He was a generous, thoughtful and insightful colleague and we will always be inspired by his extraordinary career.

Learn More

Fri, Dec 21

New Center to Expand Broader Impacts Effort

Under a new $5.2 million grant, the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI) will expand to become the Advancing Research and its Impact on Society (ARIS) Center. Housed at the University of Missouri, the Center will be the first of its kind in the nation.

In 1997 the National Science Foundation (NSF) formalized the inclusion of Broader Impacts into its proposal review requirements. In 2011, they further emphasized the need for meaningful inclusion of these criteria and soon established NABI under a five-year grant. The ARIS Center aims to expand this foundational effort beyond the NSF by promoting and supporting research efforts through additional federal and private foundations.

Dr. Jory Weintraub, Duke Initiative for Science & Society faculty member and Director of Duke University’s Broader Impacts Resource Center (BIRC) is one of ten Co-Principal Investigators on the award led by Dr. Susan Renoe, Principal Investigator and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research, Extension & Engagement at the University of Missouri.

Jory Weintraub Broader Impacts

With a team of partners from ten universities, the ARIS Center will enhance outreach and engagement efforts in the nation and abroad by developing proposals, publications, and programs that share evidence-based practices for enhancing the societal impact of research. Through the effort, scientists and engagement specialists will be provided tools and training to expand their efforts, advance scholarship, and grow partnerships.

“It is a concerted effort to support any researcher who wants to think about and communicate the impact of their work on society,” says Weintraub. The ARIS Center will widen the terminology beyond Broader Impacts to be more inclusive, opting for Research Impacts as they expand their effort beyond the NSF.

Broader Impacts efforts have historically been limited to the NSF-funded projects that require them. But Weintraub and his colleagues believe every research proposal is made stronger and more compelling by focusing on how the work impacts society.

Dipping into a regularly debated political topic, Weintraub adds, “Another straightforward goal of Research Impacts is to communicate back to tax payers why the research is relevant to them, and serve as an assurance that their money is well spent.” This has been a concern not traditionally focused on by researchers, but one that has become increasingly prioritized in recent decades.

Jory Weintraub SciComm

Dr. Weintraub joined NABI’s steering committee shortly after its inception five years ago and Science & Society’s team shortly thereafter. His work through BIRC has been integral to the success of many NSF grant proposals at Duke and around the country. But more importantly, his related efforts in science communication training, education, and outreach has greatly furthered the purpose of Research Impacts within the research community and outwardly with the public. His work with ARIS will continue to inform his efforts locally at Duke and the BIRC.

National partners and institutions for the ARIS center include: Brown University, Duke University, Iowa State University, Madison Area Technical College, Michigan State University, Northeastern University, Northwestern University, Oregon State University, Rutgers University and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Learn more at the Broader Impacts website.

Mon, Dec 10

RESEARCH: A Proposed Approach for Implementing Genomics-Based Screening Programs for Healthy Adults

This recent paper covers the optimal genes to include in genomics-based screening programs, the complexity of identifying a point in time at which to begin screening, who should perform the screening, where the programs should be administered, along with ethical and economic considerations.

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Tue, Nov 27

WATCH: When technology can read minds, how will we protect our privacy?

Tech that can decode your brain activity and reveal what you’re thinking and feeling is on the horizon, says legal scholar and ethicist Nita Farahany. What will it mean for our already violated sense of privacy? In a cautionary talk, Farahany warns of a society where people are arrested for merely thinking about committing a crime (like in “Minority Report”) and private interests sell our brain data — and makes the case for a right to cognitive liberty that protects our freedom of thought and self-determination.

Sun, Oct 14

Humans Are Hardwired to Tell History in Stories. Neuroscience Tells Us Why We Get Them Wrong

We love stories. We’d like to have all our knowledge packaged in stories — narratives with plots that involve people (and animals) with reasons and motives, carrying out their aims and designs, in cooperation or conflict, succeeding or being thwarted.

Science comes hard to most of us because it can’t really take that form. Instead it’s equations, models, theories and the data that support them. But ironically, science offers an explanation of why we love stories.

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