Ben Shepard
Ben Shepard

Science & Society News

Learn what is happening inside the Duke Initiative for Science & Society. Stay up-to-date on our research, events, and student activities.

Mon, Apr 12

Vaccines: Herd Immunity, Passports, Reaching the Underserved

As the COVID-19 vaccinations roll out with increasing speed, questions are now arising about herd immunity, the need to reach underserved populations, and a proposed passport program that would provide proof of a person’s vaccination record.

Mon, Apr 12

The Moments That Could Have Accidentally Ended Humanity

In recent history, a few individuals have made decisions that could, in theory, have unleashed killer aliens or set Earth’s atmosphere on fire. What can they tell us about attitudes to the existential risks we face today?

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Thu, Apr 08

Duke Students Contribute Chapter to the Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion

This past fall, a group of students in Professor Matt Perault’s class on Technology Policy for the New Administration co-authored Chapter 14 of the Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion, a project spearheaded by the National Urban League. We asked co-author Niharika Vattikonda to share a little bit about their work.

Over the course of the semester, we learned more about the digital divide and created policy recommendations to better institutionalize progress made on the broadband access, adoption, and utilization goals established by the plan. In Professor Perault’s technology policy course, we learned about the policymaking process and were able to hear from experts working in various parts of the policy ecosystem. We learned that technology policy cannot exist in a vacuum. We need to create the support structures needed to ensure, for example, that the data we collect about broadband access captures the whole picture.

As a team, we have mapped out a new framework for collecting broadband data and plans for an Office of Digital Equity to unify efforts to close the digital divide at the federal level and bolster the recommendations presented in the Latimer Plan. We have leveraged our experience in technology policy and a diverse set of backgrounds in data science, economics, education, public policy, business, and many other fields to contribute to what we hope will be a guiding force to close the digital divide in America.

 

Read the Plan Read More on Duke Today

Wed, Apr 07

Vaccine Passports Could Be in High Demand but Opposition Remains

As millions of Americans get their COVID-19 vaccine, government leaders and the private sector are grappling with how to use that information to reopen the economy and return to some semblance of normal everyday activities.

Mon, Apr 05

Some Wisconsin Lawmakers Want to Prevent ‘Vaccine Passport’

Quotes S&S Director, Dr. Nita Farahany, on the ethical dilemma of using vaccine passports

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