The Duke Digest - May 18, 2012
In Today's Issue:
- Zakaria: 'Extraordinary Opportunity' Awaits Graduates
- Duke Receptions at Republican and Democratic National Conventions
- Duke Research: Next Generation Electrical Components
- Justice John Paul Stevens Urges Duke Law Grads to Include Pro Bono Work
- Duke Ecohydrologist Studying Impacts of Dam Decommissioning
- Opinion: Is There a Clean Energy Standard in Our Future?
ZAKARIA: 'EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITY' AWAITS GRADUATES
Fareed Zakaria told Duke University's newest graduates Sunday they are entering an "astonishingly peaceful" era whose "extraordinary opportunity" should not be obscured by temporary concerns about the economy and other world problems.
"Our world is at peace, profoundly at peace. This is historically a very rare phenomenon," Zakaria said at the annual commencement ceremony in Wallace Wade Stadium. "Yes, you may be going through a particular year or two that are more difficult than others have been, but this is an extraordinary world [and] country you're coming into."
On Sunday, the university awarded more than 4,900 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees, including to those who graduated in September and December.
Zakaria received an honorary degree during the ceremony. The university also awarded honorary degrees to James Barksdale, a business and philanthropic leader; Ambassador Nancy Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; musician Emmylou Harris; Darryl Hunt, a spokesperson for wrongful convictions; and Nobel physicist Robert Richardson.
Zakaria: 'Extraordinary Opportunity' Awaits Graduates (Duke.edu)
DUKE RECEPTIONS AT REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTIONS
If you are planning to attend either the Democratic (Charlotte) or Republican (Tampa) National Conventions this summer, the Duke University Offices of Alumni Affairs and Federal Relations invite you to attend a special reception in each city. Alumni and other friends of Duke are welcome and encouraged to attend.
We are still finalizing the details, but please let us know if you are interested in attending by visiting this link: Democratic and Republican National Conventions – Duke Reception
DUKE RESEARCH: NEXT GENERATION ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
Electrical compounds known as topological insulators (TI) are man-made crystals that are able to conduct electrical current on their surfaces, while acting as insulators throughout the interior of the crystal. Because of their unique properties, topological insulators (TI) can be created so that they can not only conduct electricity more efficiently, but can be fashioned to be much smaller that conventional wires or devices, making them ideal candidates to become quantum electronics devices.
Discovering TIs has become of great interest to scientists, but because of the lack of a rational blueprint for creating them, researchers have had to rely on trial-and-error approaches, which to date have had limited success.
However, Duke researchers have developed a "key" - a mathematical formulation - that unlocks data stored in a master database of 2,000 compounds and provides specific recipes for searching TIs with the desired properties.
The Duke research was supported by the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation.
"Key" Genetic Search of Novel Electrical Crystals (Pratt.duke.edu)
JUSTICE JOHN PAUL STEPHENS URGES DUKE LAW GRADS TO INCLUDE PRO BONO WORK
Justice John Paul Stevens advised Duke Law School’s 2012 graduates to include “a significant amount of unpaid work” in their professional careers when he addressed them at their hooding ceremony on May 12.
“Whether it is bar association work, providing legal assistance to clients unable to pay, or political advocacy of some sort, you will not only learn important lessons not taught in any law school course, but also receive unexpected intangible rewards from such work,” said Stevens, who retired in June 2010 after serving for 35 years as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Stevens was addressing the members of the JD and LLM classes of 2012, who were subsequently hooded. Two hundred and twenty graduates received the JD degree during Duke’s weekend ceremonies, with 26 also earning an LLM degree in international and comparative law, and 27 also receiving a master’s degree from another graduate school at Duke University.
Hooding 2012 (Duke.edu)
DUKE ECOHYDROLOGIST STUDYING IMPACTS OF DAM DECOMMISSIONING
Martin Doyle recently joined the Nicholas School of the Environment as professor of river science and policy, one of four new ecohydrologists on the faculty. He doesn’t "blow up" (dramatic shorthand for dam decommissioning) dams himself; but he hangs around blown-up dams to find out how rivers respond to the process.
Among environmentalists, it’s an article of faith that blowing up dams is a good thing, primarily because it restores the spawning runs of salmon, shad, and other migratory fish, as well as re-establishing the natural flow on which entire river ecosystems depend.
If one takes it as a given that removing dams is a good thing, then the really interesting question—academically and practically—is what’s the best way to go about it?
Three Reasons to Blow Up a Damn and Two Ways to Go About It (nicholas.duke.edu)
OPINION: IS THERE A CLEAN ENERGY STANDARD IN OUR FUTURE?
Bill Chameides, Dean of Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, writes about the politics, economics, and public perceptions of adopting a clean energy standard.
Is There a Clean Energy Standard in Our Future? (HuffingtonPost)