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How a UNC and Duke Tradition Looks Past the Rivalry

How a UNC and Duke Tradition Looks Past the Rivalry

Monday, May 21, 2018

Demography Daze welcome signThe Tobacco Road rivalry runs deep. But when it comes to academics, the Duke-UNC rivalry often yields to collaboration. Demography Daze, an annual gathering of Duke and UNC population scientists, is a perfect example.

As a collaboration between the Carolina Population Center (CPC) and the Duke Population Research Institute (DUPRI), a Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) affiliate, Duke and UNC alternate hosting the event each year.

For the 7th Annual Demography Daze this year, UNC scholars traveled to Durham for the event held in SSRI’s home base, Gross Hall for Interdisciplinary Innovation near the heart of Duke’s West Campus.

“This area is probably the place with the largest number of population scientists in the U.S. which offers a unique opportunity for fruitful collaborations among our two population centers,” said M. Giovanna Merli, associate director of DUPRI.

Guests listen to a talk during Demography Daze 2018The collaborations are indeed many and Demography Daze offers the chance to highlight them. After all, researchers from the two institutions have worked on some of the most innovative projects in the population sciences.

This work has included the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Study of Development, the National Long-Term Care Study and the Adolescent Health Survey (Add Health) and the Add Health Parent Study.

The event began with a welcome from Angela O’Rand, director of DUPRI, which then led to the first general session themed around survey innovations. Topics included early Alzheimer’s disease and survey response time, data innovations in measuring gender, and harmonizing data from multiple cohort studies.

“[We] had an exciting program focused on innovations in data collection, measurement, conceptualization, and analysis. Multiple presentations were by coauthors from both institutions—strong evidence of the synergies between our universities,” O’Rand said.

In fact, some coauthors came from universities further afield, like the University of Chicago, Penn State, and UCLA.

Attendee reads Demography Daze 2018 programOther events that day included flash talks on demography topics that lasted a maximum of five minutes a piece and another general session themed around remote sensing and networks.

A reception concluded the Demography Daze events where guests connected with one another, discussed current work, and looked to the future of their collaborations.

To view more photos from Demography Daze 2018, visit the SSRI flickr album here.

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