Yesterday at Duke, I attended the Orientation Welcome in the very charming Sarah P. Duke’s Garden. The session began with a video, where many researchers and physicians described the merits of Duke’s health system and all the benefits faculty and staff employees can enjoy during their stay at the university. It was all about the Blue Devils and friendly nurses, the sumptuous chapel and the vast forest surrounding the campus. I had decided to leave my French cynicism at home and to enjoy this morning, but something really stroke me: there was barely one word on Durham, the city, in this blurb.
It is really interesting because sometimes as historians of economics, we can infer from the fact that one economist was at Berkeley or Harvard during a particular period of time that this researcher has been marked by what happened in San Francisco or Boston during the period of his stay. But now, I seriously doubt it.