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.

Sun, Jan 07

Death of the American Trucker

Automated trucking promises to improve road safety, reduce fossil-fuel emissions and put up to 1.7 million people out of work.

Tue, Dec 05

How Criminal Courts Are Putting Brains—Not People—on Trial

Dr. Nita Farahany, Professor of Law & Philosophy and Director of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society, discusses the use of neurobiology in criminal cases.

Fri, Dec 01

Bioethics, industry, and diversity: Reflections on SACNAS 2017

Johnathan Bowes, MA Bioethics & Science Policy ’16 and Policy Analyst at Helix, reflects on his experience at the National Diversity in STEM Conference, an annual event hosted by the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).

Wed, Nov 22

4 ways Tesla’s electric truck announcement could change our roads

SciPol lead editor and senior research scientists with Duke Robotics, Dr. Michael Clamann, weighs in on Tesla’s reveal of their new electric semi-truck. How will this technology change the truck driving industry and are there regulatory and security concerns that need to be addressed?

Read the Full Article

Fri, Nov 17

Book Review: A History of Humanity Told Through Genetics

A BRIEF HISTORY OF EVERYONE WHO EVER LIVED: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes, By Adam Rutherford.
Review by Dr. Misha Angrist.

A recent and, even by its own lofty standards, especially hilarious and cringingly tasteless episode of “South Park” features the passionate and petulant schlimazel, middle-aged dad Randy Marsh, watching TV, when a commercial for a fictional consumer genetics company comes on the screen. “Wouldn’t you like to know the story of you?” the unctuous announcer asks. “What makes you you?” We then see a parade of white people doing entitled white people things — biking, painting, jogging — as they give testimonials about their DNA test results. All are thrilled to find out that their genomes have revealed them to be not just plain vanilla boring Caucasians, but rather to have some fraction of exotic — and more important, persecuted — ancestry. “I’m 21-percent victim!” exclaims one satisfied customer.

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