Duke faculty members weigh in on what's missing from the campaign debate.
Is America Still a Beacon for Immigrant Scientists?
The United States has long been a magnet for people from scientists from all over the world. With both science and immigration under attack, Raphael Valdivia wonders if that legacy is at risk.
"Glad You Asked" is a series of short commentaries by Duke experts on issues that deserve public attention. In Season 2, Duke experts share a question they would like to pose to our nation's new president -- and describe why that question matters.
Valdivia is an associate professor of molecular genetics and microbiology in the Duke University School of Medicine and vice dean for basic science at Duke University.
How Health Care Reform Could Hurt Women
Proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act would remove requirements to cover maternity care and contraception. Those changes would hurt women especially hard, says Dr. Megan Huchko.
Huchko is an associate professor in the Duke University department of obstetrics and gynecology and the Duke Global Health Institute.
Why Hate Crimes Are a National Security Risk
Hate crimes deserve the new administration's attention, and not only because they are abhorrent, says David Schanzer. Anti-Muslim hate crimes and bigotry also threaten our national security.
Schanzer is associate professor of the practice at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy, where he directs the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security.
"Glad You Asked" is a series of brief 2-minute commentaries by Duke faculty members. Season One addressed key issues missing from the campaign debate. In Season Two, we ask Duke faculty members what question they would like to pose to our nation's new president.
The Heavy Toll of Unintended Consequences
Increased drilling for oil is meant to stimulate the economy. But what effect will greater use of oil and gas have on public health? David Boyd challenges our new president to consider this and other unintended consequences of public policy decisions in this episode of "Glad You Asked."
Boyd is an associate professor of the practice at the Duke Global Health Institute and is an expert in global health and cross-cultural medicine.
Turning Our Backs on Mental Illness
Our society gives the mentally ill short shrift, so much so that "we'll look back on it in 100 years' time as absolutely appalling," says Jane Costello.
Severe mental illness burdens families, taxes the criminal justice and shortens lives. And we'll continue to pay those heavy prices until we take the issue seriously, Costello says.
Costello is a professor in the psychiatry department at the Duke University School of Medicine and an associate director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy.
mental healthhealth carepublic policypublic health2016 electionDuke University
What's in a Line?
State legislatures draw the boundaries for most Congressional districts, and the result is partisan gridlock, says Connel Fullenkamp. Fullenkamp says it's time to take the politics out of redistricting by turning the job over to nonpartisan groups.
Fullenkamp is a professor of the practice in the Duke University department of economics.
From Duke University, this is Glad You Asked, where we consider the question, “What should we be talking about this election season?”
"My name is Connel Fullenkamp. I’m a professor of the practice in the economics department at Duke University.
When the dust settles, the one thing that we really ought to talk about in the election is districting, is how we choose our election districts in America. The districts are largely chosen by political parties. And both are equally responsible for the mess that we’re in.
A few states have actually gone to some nonpartisan districting, but in most states what happens is, the state legislature gets together and picks the districts. And so basically, you get both parties trying to maximize the number of seats that they’re going to get in the next local, or congressional, or even presidential election.
So they cut a lot of really nasty deals, they draw a lot of gerrymandered districts like the ones we’ve seen in North Carolina, and they create basically safe districts for their parties. The result is that you get districts in which the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate is virtually guaranteed to be the winner in the general election.
So, it means that we get candidates who basically have no incentive to play for the middle, and we get people who are really not representative of the average person in the district. We get somebody who’s actually more partisan than we really want. Most economists who study voting behavior think that we get people who represent what we call the median voter, who is somebody in the middle. But if you split the parties and give somebody a safe district, then you get the median maybe of the party rather than the median of the general population.
If I’ve been elected to Congress on a fairly extreme, say, conservative ticket, and I know my seat’s guaranteed, why do I have to work with anybody? I don’t have any incentive to reach across the aisle to get anything done. My job’s pretty much secure.
This polarization, I think, is largely caused by our failure to select districts in a nonpartisan way, and really more fair way."
This is Glad You Asked. For more on redistricting, check out the next episode of the Ways and Means podcast. Find it at waysandmeansshow.org.