DC Digest - July 22, 2011
In Today's Issue:
- Proposed Plan for NC Congressional Districts Released
- DOD's Minerva Initiative is Accepting Research Proposals
- NSF Awards $3 Million to Triangle Scientists to Improve Federal Data
- House Appropriations Chair Delays Markups Until September
- Cathy Davidson Joins National Humanities Council
- Duke Law Prof to Testify Before House Judiciary Subcommittee July 26
- Duke Prof Gives Briefing on Demographics of Disaster Response
- HHS Releases ANPRM on Use of Human Subjects in Research
- Five Steps the New Consumer Protection Bureau Can Take to Make Private Loans Safer
PROPOSED PLAN FOR NC CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS RELEASED
Members of the North Carolina General Assembly released on Tuesday a new proposed map of North Carolina Congressional districts. The "Rucho-Lewis Congress 2" map, named after State Senator Bob Rucho and State Representative David Lewis, is the second version of the new redistricting map released earlier this month.
The new map can be found here. To view and overlay different maps, click on "District Plans" in the upper right corner. Selecting for "Congressional-2010" will show the current Congressional districts, and "Rucho-Lewis 2" will show the latest proposal.
In a joint statement, Senator Rucho and Representative Lewis explained that while they believe that the Rucho-Lewis #1 map fully complies with all applicable federal and state legal requirements, the changes in the new map were the result of comments received during “the public hearings, comments on the General Assembly’s website and feedback from members of Congress.” Under the new configuration, and if approved, Duke would be in the 1st Congressional District and represented by Congressman G.K. Butterfield.
The General Assembly is scheduled to vote upon this new map next week, but changes could be made before then.
Joint Statement of Senator Bob Rucho and Representative David Lewis Regarding the Release of Rucho-Lewis Congress 2
DOD’S MINERVA INITIATIVE IS ACCEPTING RESEARCH PROPOSALS
University consortia and individual investigators are encouraged to submit white papers and full funding proposals to the Minerva Initiative, the Department of Defense’s competitive, university-based social science basic research program. Because of a delay in release of the funding solicitation, program managers have extended the deadline for white paper submissions to Friday, September 16, 2011, and the deadline for full proposals to Tuesday, November 22, 2011.
The Minerva Initiative was created in 2008 under the leadership of former Defense Secretary Robert Gates as a means to improve our fundamental understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the U.S. Secretary Gates announced the Initiative at the April 2008 meeting of the AAU presidents and chancellors in Washington, DC.
The Minerva Initiative is inviting white papers and full proposals for basic research in the following seven areas:
(1) Strategic Impact of Religious and Cultural Changes
(2) Terrorism and Terrorist Ideologies
(3) Science, Technology and Military Transformations in China and Developing States
(4) National Security Implications of Energy and Environmental Stress
(5) New Theories of Cross-Domain Deterrence
(6) Regime and Social Dynamics in Failed, Failing, and Fragile Authoritarian States
(7) New Approaches to Understanding Dimensions of National Security, Conflict, and Cooperation
Minerva Initiative FAQ (minerva.dtic.gov)
NSF AWARDS $3 MILLION TO TRIANGLE SCIENTISTS TO IMPROVE FEDERAL DATA
A team of statisticians, economists and political scientists from Duke University and the National Institute of Statistical Sciences has received a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Census Bureau to improve how federal statistical agencies share government data with the public.
U.S. Census Bureau data is protected under confidentiality laws and cannot be released without being modified to maintain individuals' and businesses' privacy. The Triangle Census Research Network will develop statistical methods for making more of the bureau’s data available to researchers, policy makers and the public, while preserving anonymity.
NSF Awards $3 Million to Triangle Scientists to Improve Federal Data
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS CHAIR DELAYS MARKUPS UNTIL SEPTEMBER
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) has postponed to September marking up the last two of the committee’s 12 spending bills for FY12: Labor-HHS-Education and Transportation-HUD, according to CQ.com. The publication notes that the panel has allocated most of the panel’s overall FY12 spending cuts to these two bills, along with State-Foreign Operations.
CQ.com notes that any overall deficit reduction/debt ceiling deal would likely change the level of FY12 discretionary spending the committee has been working with, and that the overall budget debate has “used up all of the logistical and political oxygen at the Capitol.”
CATHY DAVIDSON JOINS NATIONAL HUMANITIES COUNCIL
Duke professor Cathy Davidson has joined the National Council on the Humanities. Davidson was one of five new members to join the council July 14, each appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the 26-member advisory board within the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Davidson is the Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English and John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke. She was also Duke's first vice provost for interdisciplinary studies.
She was sworn in by Jim Leach, NEH's chairman, along with fellow new members Albert J. Beveridge, Constance M. Carroll, Paula Barker Duffy and Martha Wagner Weinberg.
Davidson Joins Humanities Council (duke.edu)
DUKE LAW PROF TO TESTIFY BEFORE HOUSE JUDICIARY SUBCOMMITTEE JULY 26
Lisa Griffin, Professor of Law at Duke Law School, will testify July 26 before the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security regarding pending legislation on public corruption.
Webpage for Duke Law Professor Lisa Kern Griffin (law.duke.edu)
DUKE PROF GIVES BRIEFING ON DEMOGRAPHICS OF DISASTER RESPONSE
Dr. Elizabeth Frankenberg, professor of public policy and sociology, participated on Monday in a Congressional briefing, "Demography of Disasters: Informing Recovery Decisions.
During the briefing, which was hosted by the Population Association of America, American Red Cross, and several other organizations, Dr. Frankenberg and Dr. Mark VanLandingham of Tulane University spoke about their research on populations in post-disaster Indonesia and New Orleans.
Dr. Frankenberg's Webpage (duke.edu)
Facebook Photo Album of the Event
HHS RELEASES ANPRM ON THE USE OF HUMAN SUBJECTS IN RESEARCH
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on protection of human subjects used in research. This represents a major revision of the Common Rule and is part of the Administration's effort to improve and reduce regulations.
Comment is sought on the following:
- Revising the existing risk-based framework to more accurately calibrate the level of review to the level of risk.
- Using a single Institutional Review Board review for all domestic sites of multi-site studies.
- Updating the forms and processes used for informed consent.
- Establishing mandatory data security and information protection standards for all studies involving identifiable or potentially identifiable data.
- Implementing a systematic approach to the collection and analysis of data on unanticipated problems and adverse events across all trials to harmonize the complicatedarray of definitions and reporting requirements, and to make the collection of data more efficient.
- Extending federal regulatory protections to apply to all research conducted at U.S. institutions receiving funding from the Common Rule.
Once the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 60 days to comment on it.
FIVE STEPS THE NEW CONSUMER PROTECTION BUREAU CAN TAKE TO MAKE PRIVATE LOANS SAFER
Now that the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has opened its doors, what can it do to make private student loans safer for students?
Higher Ed Watch blogger Stephen Burd writes:
In recent days, both our colleagues at the Project on Student Debt and student aid expert Mark Kantrowitz have recommended steps the CFPB can take to achieve this goal. At Higher Ed Watch, we have sifted through these proposals and chosen five that we think will do the most to help students avoid taking on unnecessary debt and keep private student loan providers honest.
Five Steps the New Consumer Bureau Can Take to Make Private Loans Safer (HigherEdWatch)