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Duke University’s mission is to provide a liberal education for our undergraduates. This means we empower our students to find their own academic paths by teaching them to reason and to empathize in unprecedented ways. As a research university, we have the resources to connect students to the processes of inquiry and discovery—and to give our students opportunities to learn from, and collaborate with, our faculty members.

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As much as we like to think that we vote on substance – not style – studies have shown that physical appearance matters to voters. Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Welcome to Politics4K

While much of the 2014 midterm election analysis centered on the Republican takeover of the Senate, the pundits may have overlooked an important development: the end of a time when politicians looked a…
Your brain is still you. Andrew Mason

My brain made me do it, but does that matter?

Imagine that Brian promises to drive you to the airport but never shows up, and you miss your flight. When you confront Brian, he tells you that he remembered his promise but decided to watch a movie instead…
There is no such thing as an ideal flu shot. But that doesn’t mean you should skip it. Sherry Yates Young/Shutterstock

Even with mismatches flu shots can still keep you from getting sick

On December 3, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Health Alert Network advisory indicating a possible strain mismatch in this year’s vaccine. After the usual brief flurry…
Movie theaters have seen declining box office revenues over the past two years. Michael Gabler/Wikimedia Commons

Event cinema could save the movie theater

If Dumber and Dumber To, Interstellar and Big Hero 6 didn’t get you to the movies last week, you weren’t alone: just before Thanksgiving, Box Office Mojo put year-to-date gross receipts at almost $9 billion…
Faced with uncertainty and unpredictability, your brain’s on its way to anxiety. Woman image via www.shutterstock.com.

Brains transform remote threats into anxiety

Modern life can feel defined by low-level anxiety swirling through society. Continual reports about terrorism and war. A struggle to stay on top of family finances and hold onto jobs. An onslaught of news…
Some US bridges are currently living out their twilight years. Bob Jagendorf

Here’s how to fix America’s crumbling bridges

There are about 600,000 bridges in the United States, and about one in four is classified as functionally obsolete or structurally deficient. This doesn’t mean they’re in danger of imminent collapse; they…
There are high hopes that the new head of the Fed, Janet Yellen, will change the culture at the central bank and the lenders it regulates. IMF/Flickr via CC BY-NC-ND

Banking tail often wags the Fed’s regulatory dog

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has her work cut out for her if she hopes to change the culture at the world’s most important central bank. Media reports abound with evidence that the financial industry…
Short-term panic draws attention away from long-term solutions. Paul Hanna/Reuters

Panic and precaution: Ebola and the outbreak narrative

It does not make the news when a two year old boy dies of Ebola in Guinea. Nor when his sister, his mother and his grandmother succumb. It takes time for local officials to recognize an outbreak. By the…
Not the sort of coastal effects you can sweep under the rug. Jian Feng

China’s economic explosion is ravaging its coastal ecosystems

The speed and scale of China’s rapid economic growth has led to widespread degradation of its densely inhabited coastlines, according to an analysis of 60 years of social, economic and environmental data…

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