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Scholars Strategy Network's No Jargon

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No Jargon, the Scholars Strategy Network’s weekly podcast, presents interviews with top university scholars on the politics, policy problems, and social issues facing the nation. Powerful research, intriguing perspectives -- and no jargon. Find show notes and plain-language research briefs on hundreds of topics at www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org/nojargon.

No Jargon, the Scholars Strategy Network’s weekly podcast, presents interviews with top university scholars on the politics, policy problems, and social issues facing the nation. Powerful research, intriguing perspectives -- and no jargon. Find show notes and plain-language research briefs on hundreds of topics at www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org/nojargon.
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United States

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No Jargon, the Scholars Strategy Network’s weekly podcast, presents interviews with top university scholars on the politics, policy problems, and social issues facing the nation. Powerful research, intriguing perspectives -- and no jargon. Find show notes and plain-language research briefs on hundreds of topics at www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org/nojargon.

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode 183: Do Endorsements Really Matter?

7/18/2019
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When politicians run for local office, they try to appeal to lots of different kinds of voters. And one way they do this is by collecting endorsements from public figures and organizations those voters trust. But does that actually influence the way people vote? Professor Andrea Benjamin explores the role of endorsements in local elections, how race plays into the equation, and what this means for campaigns both big and small. For more on this topic: Check out Benjamin’s book, Racial...

Duration:00:24:47

Episode 182: Chile, the CIA, and the Cold War

7/11/2019
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The CIA has become an almost mythical government agency, viewed as full of super spies who carry out the US government’s wishes across the globe. And perhaps one of the most infamous of these accounts is the CIA’s supposed orchestration of the 1973 coup in Chile. But Professor James Lockhart’s new research casts doubt on this common narrative. He digs into the CIA’s actual influence in Chile, why this narrative has become so ingrained, and what it all means for the US today. For more on...

Duration:00:26:49

Episode 181: Locked Away

6/27/2019
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In 1890, the Supreme Court called solitary confinement “barbaric,” speculating that it would be abandoned altogether as a correctional practice. But now, nearly 130 years later, it’s clear that their prediction couldn’t have been more wrong. Professor Keramet Reiter tells the story of how solitary confinement became so widespread in the US, what this practice means for prisoners, and what can be done to change the system. For more on this topic: Check out Reiter’s book, 23/7: Pelican Bay...

Duration:00:28:29

Episode 180: Guest Show - Big Brains

6/20/2019
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This week, we’re bringing you an episode from Big Brains, a podcast produced at The University of Chicago. Big Brains tells the stories behind the pivotal research and pioneering breakthroughs reshaping our world. They cover everything from the hidden dangers of artificial intelligence to the discovery of gravitational waves. This episode features Professor Eric Oliver on the science of conspiracy theories and political polarization. For More on This Topic: Check out the website for theBig...

Duration:00:26:35

Episode 179: Gerrymandering on Trial

6/13/2019
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When elected officials redraw districts in their own party’s favor, the impact can be enormous, swaying elections and influencing policy for years to come. This practice - known as gerrymandering - is one of the most hotly debated in American politics right now, and it’s one the Supreme Court will soon weigh in on. Dr. Peter Miller lays out the legal cases surrounding gerrymandering, what these decisions might mean for future elections, and what else can be done to get states to draw maps in...

Duration:00:21:44

Episode 178: Healthy Patients, Healthy Providers

6/6/2019
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Building healthy and equitable communities is a tough challenge, but it’s one that public policy is well position to address. In this episode, produced in collaboration with the Health Policy Research Scholars program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, two PhD candidates share their research on what can be done to improve the health of both patients and their providers. First, Kristefer Stojanovski reveals why the fight to eradicate HIV must include a push to address bias among...

Duration:00:22:06

Episode 177: Unintended Consequences

5/30/2019
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Public policy influences just about every part of our lives, and perhaps one of the most important is our health and well-being. In this episode, produced in collaboration with the Health Policy Research Scholar program by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, two PhD candidates share their research on some unintended consequences at the intersection of health and policy. First, Tyler Jimenez explains how existential threats, like the fear of death, can affect people’s support for policies...

Duration:00:25:33

Episode 176: Groundbreakers, part 2

5/23/2019
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Many of us are part of one organization or another that’s hoping to create change. Yet all too often, it feels like the levers of change are stuck. Professor Hahrie Han tells the stories of a few organizations that have been able to break through, get a seat at the table, and create real, tangible results. When it comes to organizing, there is no magic formula, but her research sheds light on patterns from groundbreaking organizations that can lead to success. For more on this topic: Read...

Duration:00:30:04

Episode 175: Groundbreakers, part 1

5/16/2019
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For many renters, evictions can depend on the whims and wishes of their landlord. And with no right to a lawyer in housing court, there’s almost no chance to fight back and win. But that all recently changed in New York City and San Francisco. Professor Jamila Michener explains how both cities came to enact groundbreaking new laws to help tenants get access to a lawyer and what the movements behind these laws say about the power of organizing. For more on this topic: Check out this New...

Duration:00:27:58

Episode 174: Making Motherhood Work

5/9/2019
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This Sunday is Mother’s Day. But while this is one day of celebrating moms everywhere, many of them aren’t doing so well the other 364 days of the year. That’s because more moms today are struggling to balance work and family life, often with little support. Professor Caitlyn Collins breaks down how US moms are doing these days, how our family support system compares to other countries, and what needs to change to better support working mothers year-round. For more on this topic: Check out...

Duration:00:29:15

Archive Episode 52: Paying the Price

5/2/2019
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Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren recently proposed a massive plan to eliminate most student debt and tuition at public colleges. But student debt is just one part of the larger problem of college affordability. Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab explains the impact of the high cost of college on students at public and community colleges, including hunger, homelessness, and debt without getting a degree, and offers concrete solutions. For more on this topic: Read Goldrick-Rab’s SSN briefs...

Duration:00:29:41

Episode 173: 2020’s Big Proposals

4/25/2019
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The presidential race for 2020 is already well underway and two of the biggest policies Democratic hopefuls are pushing include a $15 minimum wage and Medicare-for-All. Professor Jeannette Wicks-Lim lays out the costs and benefits of each and what these massive policy changes would mean for the country—and for inequality. For more on this topic: Read Wicks-Lim’s brief, Why Fast Food Employers Can Adjust to a $15 minimum wage without Shedding JobsCheck out her research reports on the $15...

Duration:00:28:59

Episode 172: The Battle over Clean Energy

4/19/2019
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Wildfires, flooding, and some of warmest years on record -- climate change has become an ever more imminent threat. But without action from DC, the states have become the frontline of climate change policy. Professor Leah Stokes unravels the history of clean energy laws in the states, how environmental advocates and industry groups have battled it out there, and how the Green New Deal fits into the fight. For more on this topic: Check out Stoke’s OpEd on the Green New Deal in The...

Duration:00:25:48

Episode 171: A Life-Changing Course

4/11/2019
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Inequality is rampant in America’s schools and many of the proposed fixes end up falling far short of their goals. But ethnic studies courses have shown to be a potentially powerful solution. Professor Nolan Cabrera dives into the legal fight over these courses, how these programs can work in schools across the country, and what they can do for student achievement. For more on this topic: Read Cabrera’s brief, How Ethnic Studies Can Reduce Racial Achievement Gaps The Numbers Won’t Speak...

Duration:00:24:09

Episode 170: Guest Show - Democracy Works

4/4/2019
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This week, we’re bringing you an episode of Democracy Works, a podcast that examines what it means to live in a democracy. This episode is a conversation with David Frum, a prolific author and former speechwriter for George W. Bush. David is a passionate defender of democracy and talks with Democracy Works host Jenna Spinelle about how everyone can become better democratic citizens. Democracy Works is produced by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State and WPSU Penn State,...

Duration:00:42:37

Episode 169: Who Controls the States?

3/28/2019
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We like to think that state governments make decisions based on their particular situations. But it turns out, often that’s not the case. In fact, three large conservative groups have gained massive influence in state houses across the country, working to pass legislation in line with their views and corporate sponsors. Professor Alexander Hertel-Fernandez explains their rise and strategies, why state governments are so susceptible to their influence, and what this all means for American...

Duration:00:29:19

Episode 168: Cities in Crisis

3/21/2019
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Flint, Michigan has been in crisis since 2014, plagued with unsafe drinking water and a local government in debt. Thankfully nonprofits came to the rescue, donating millions of dollars and hundreds of hours to help in the long process of bringing clean water back. Professor Davia Cox Downey tells the story of two Michigan cities in crisis, how each benefited from the help of nonprofits, and what still needs to be done to restore trust in the local government. For more on this topic: Read...

Duration:00:22:09

Episode 167: A Case of Life and Death

3/14/2019
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The death penalty has a long and controversial history in the US. And 30 states still have it on the books. But in 2018, the Washington State Supreme Court decided to ban this punishment after seeing evidence of deep racial inequalities. Doctors Katherine Beckett and Heather Evans lay out what their research says about the death penalty in Washington, how they got involved in this case, and what it was like defending their work with life and death on the line. For More on This Topic: Read...

Duration:00:27:15

Archive Episode 95: Who is Affirmative Action for?

3/7/2019
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The future of affirmative action is unclear. Harvard has been taken to court for its admissions policies and the case is likely to be the first affirmative action case in front of the new Supreme Court judges. In this archive episode, Professor Natasha Warikoo discusses investigations into school admissions and how focusing on diversity ignores the real reasons for affirmative action. For More on This Topic: Read her brief,How the Ways College Authorities Talk about Diversity Can Undercut...

Duration:00:22:14

Episode 166: Lawyers, Lawyers, and More Lawyers

2/28/2019
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In a democracy, government is supposed to represent the people. But Congress doesn’t exactly look like your average American. In fact, lawyers make up a huge number of our federal representatives, but only a small percentage of the American population. Professor Adam Bonica unravels why we have so many lawyers in office, what fundraising has to do with it, and what it all means for how our government functions. For more on this topic: Read thisVoxpiece on Bonica’s research, There are too...

Duration:00:22:05