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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

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
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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




Episode 198: What’s My Schedule?

Imagine you’re a working parent. You make ends meet with a part-time job at a department store, but the ever-changing schedule makes life difficult. Some weeks, you work so much that you’re left scrambling for last-minute childcare. Others, you barely get enough hours to cover all your expenses. Professor Susan Lambert describes why this has become the reality for an increasing number of Americans, how these scheduling practices impact both employees and their employers, and what...


Episode 197: Making Research Matter

What works best to teach children in our schools? How does pollution affect public health? Why is economic inequality on the rise? These are just some of the big and important questions researchers try to answer every day. But all too often, their findings don’t actually help usher in improvements in the lives of people. Why not? The William T. Grant Foundation’s Vivian Tseng shares the history of research use in U.S. education policy, how a new approach to research can improve connections...


Episode 196: The Rise of Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes

Twenty-one years ago this month, a gay University of Wyoming student by the name of Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered. His story brought national attention to anti-LGBT hate crimes and spurred a popular movement for hate crime legislation. Since then, the LGBT community has won major advances and become more visible than ever - but hateful attacks are on the rise. Professor Liz Coston explores why these crimes keep happening, what they look like in 2019, and what can be done to protect...


Episode 195: The Promise of Midwives

America is the richest country on Earth with some of the most advanced healthcare services you can find. And yet, every year, hundreds of women die during childbirth, an issue that particularly affects black women. One of the potential solutions that’s being offered: returning to the centuries old practice of community midwives. Rachel Applewhite lays out what research can tell us about the effectiveness of midwives and doulas, how they help serve communities left behind by our healthcare...


Archive Episode 87: NAFTA Winners and Losers

Despite an ongoing impeachment inquiry, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been signaling that a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada is in the final stages of negotiations, and Congress could be ready for a vote in the near future. In this archive episode, Professor Alyshia Gálvez dives into the often overlooked consequences of this trade agreement on food and health in both the U.S. and Mexico. For more on this topic: Check out Alyshia’s SSN brief, How the North American Free Trade...


Episode 194: The Science of Science Communication

With a global climate strike on September 20th and waves of protests surrounding the UN summit on climate change, public interest in science seems to be on the rise. And scientists are answering the call, with more researchers than ever taking to social media to share their work with the public and each other. Professor Sara Yeo discusses how different audiences perceive science communication, the ways in which emotions can factor into it, and how scientists can make the most of engaging...


Episode 193: The Toll of Stereotypes

America’s schools are supposed to treat all students fairly. But we know that all too often, black students face racial discrimination, stigma, and stereotypes in their schools. And for black girls in particular, that can be compounded by their gender as well. Professor Seanna Leath explains how do these experiences affect the lives and development of black girls, what broader stereotypes and stigmas exist around mental health for black women, and what can be done to improve the...


Episode 192: Black Homes, Black Cities

Memphis, Baltimore, and Detroit. East Cleveland, Ohio, and Wilkinson, Pennsylvania. Black cities are on the rise. In 1970, Black people made up a majority of 460 cities and towns across the United States. Forty-seven years later, the number of majority Black municipalities is up to 1,262. Dr. Andre Perry discusses what is driving this increase, why black cities and black neighborhoods have been devalued, and how America can do right by these places. For more on this topic: Check out his...


Episode 191: Paying for Pollution

Climate change is threatening our world, that much is becoming more and more apparent every year. And often it seems like little is happening on a policy level to address this impending crisis. But, in 2008, a group of states in the Northeast managed what seemed nearly impossible. They put in place a robust, multi-state system to put a price on carbon. Professor Leigh Raymond explains how they were able to overcome obstacles that have doomed so much other climate policy, how exactly this...


Episode 190: Dental Care for All

For many people, regular visits to the dentist are little more than a necessary inconvenience. But in lower-income communities, access to dental care can be all but nonexistent - with serious consequences for public health. Professor Donald Chi lays out how a single childhood cavity can lead to a lifetime of problems, why so many people struggle to access even basic dental care, and what policymakers can do to provide every American with the coverage they need. For more on this...


Episode 189: Who Owns America’s Schools?

Back-to-school season is upon us, and back as well are some familiar debates. From charter schools to voucher programs, education in America is becoming more privatized than ever - and some communities are pushing back. Professor Janelle Scott reveals why so many schools are shifting toward privatization, why these reforms are so controversial, and what they mean for inequality in America’s education system. For more on this topic: Check out Scott’s research paper with Jennifer Holme on...


Episode 188: Why Cities Lose

Imagine a nation where the political rules are unfair. In this imagine nation, there are two parties. The Big Country party has its strengthen in rural areas and gets a big head start in every election - they get to win if they earn around 46 percent of the vote. The other party, the party of the city people, gets held back - to win, they need to earn about 54 percent of the vote. As it turns out, this is not an imaginary nation at all, it’s the United States of America. Professor Jonathan...


Episode 187: Red Flags

El Paso, Texas. Dayton, Ohio. These two cities are the latest in a long string of communities that have experienced horrific mass shootings. And once again, the news of these shootings bring up many questions. Dr. Sierra Smucker lays out what we know about mass shooters and the connection to domestic violence, what gun regulations are already on the books and whether or not they seem to be effective, and what more can be done to prevent future shootings. For more on this topic: Read...


Episode 186: Modernizing Congress

The US Congress is a bedrock of American democracy, but as it stands, it often seems to be stuck in the dark ages. With more and more technology emerging to help connect people, ideas, and information across the country, Congress often still works as if the internet didn’t exist. Dr. Lorelei Kelly dives into the problems facing Congress, what it takes to bring this institution into the 21st century, and how a few members are leading the way. For more on this topic: Check out Kelly’s...


Archive Episode 71: Violence in Resistance

Around five years ago, Ferguson, Missouri erupted in violent protests after the fatal police shooting of teenager Michael Brown. The Ferguson protests were part of a wave of protests nationwide spurred by police shootings of unarmed black men and the disproportionate violence that communities of color have often faced. In this archive episode, Professor Ashley Howard explains what these protests mean, what their history is, and how new laws, policing methods, and social media are changing...


Episode 185: America’s Long Immigration Debate

At the beginning of his campaign for president, Donald Trump disparaged Mexican immigrants coming to the US and since then, immigration has been a centerpiece of his administration. But to say that America’s immigration debate started with Donald Trump is simply not true. Professor James Hollifield highlights the long history of immigration policy in this country and argues that the conversation won’t be going away any time soon, no matter what happens in 2020. For more on this...


Episode 184: Hollywood’s Diversity Problem

When the 2016 Academy Award acting nominations all went to white performers for the second consecutive year, a trending hashtag - #OscarsSoWhite - swept Twitter. But in the span of just a few years, things seem to have changed. Professor Nancy Yuen explains the state of diversity in Hollywood, what challenges persist today, and how to reform the industry. Check out Yuen’s book, Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism How Racial Stereotypes in Popular Media Affect People - and What...


Episode 183: Do Endorsements Really Matter?

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...


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

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...


Episode 181: Locked Away

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...