Scholars Strategy Network's No Jargon

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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Scholars Strategy Network's No Jargon



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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 20, 2016

Professor Heather Lee tells the story of how a loophole in the Chinese Exclusion Act led to the Chinese restaurant boom in America. Drawing parallels to today, she explains the unintended impacts of the law on the U.S. and China.

Dec 13, 2016

Professor Gabriel Sanchez breaks down the Latino vote in the 2016 election and unpacks the controversy and misinterpretation of exit poll data on Latinos. He discusses where these voters stand on immigration, the economy, and healthcare.

Dec 9, 2016

Tech error fixed: Professor Peter Shane describes the court case that could give the president new authority to fire any federal official, for any reason. He explains the history of the theory behind the court’s ruling and arguments for and against it.

Nov 29, 2016

Professor Garth Heutel lays out a potentially cost-effective way to reduce global temperatures to stave off global warming. But solar geoengineering is not a silver bullet. While the benefits are clear, the costs are much more uncertain.

Nov 23, 2016

Professor Sarah Bowen discusses her research on why home-cooking is not all it's cracked up to be. She gives a more realistic account of the idealized family dinner, and how money, time, and gender norms impact how and when families eat.

Nov 22, 2016

Professor Chris S. Parker details why, given America’s racial history, the election of Donald Trump is not a surprise. Reactionary parties have always appealed to voters beyond just the rural, working class, and Trump supporters are no exception.

Nov 15, 2016

Professor Kathy Cramer shares lessons from her conversations with rural communities in Wisconsin. Rural voters often feel forgotten, misunderstood, and disrespected, which directly affects their sense of politics and whom they elect to office.

Nov 11, 2016

Professor Theda Skocpol discusses the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and what to expect from a Trump presidency. Analyzing the factors that swayed voters, she offers insight on what the Democrats need to do moving forward.

Nov 1, 2016

Professor Jan Leighley walks through the factors that influence voter behavior from age to party to voting laws. Elected officials and campaigns are responsive to groups with high turnout and encourage them to vote. The opposite is also true.

Oct 25, 2016

Professor Paul Lichterman analyzes strategies used by activists in social movements and explains how Sanders supporters decide to interact with Clinton in the general election. He offers a new way to think about Trump’s appeal to the religious right.

Oct 18, 2016

Professor Nathan Jensen explains how cities and states often lose more than they gain when politicians use tax incentives to bring businesses to town.

Oct 12, 2016

Professor Amy Fried explains the use and abuse of public opinion research and tells ​how polling methods have changed over the past 100 years.

Oct 4, 2016

Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab discusses the impact of the high cost of college on students at public and community colleges, including hunger, homelessness, and debt without getting a degree. She explains root of the problem and offers concrete solutions.

Sep 26, 2016

Professor Kelly Dittmar discusses how gender impacts attitudes towards candidates and informs voters’ expectations. Informed by the Presidential Gender Watch 2016 project, Dittmar flags what to look and listen for in the first presidential debate.

Sep 20, 2016

This special episode tells the story of a professor who helped to inform local policy: Tamara Kay corrected misleading statistics about a labor law in New Mexico. For context, Professor Raymond Hogler provides the history and impact of right-to-work laws.

Sep 13, 2016

No Jargon is on break this week. It’s the beginning of the semester and professors and SSN chapters are starting up for the new year. If you need your scholarly fix, read a brief on affirmative action in colleges at

Sep 6, 2016

Professor Ushma Upadhyay examined an abortion pill law in Ohio that required health care providers to use outdated FDA rules. Said to protect women’s health, the law instead hurt women’s health and increased the cost and time spent for the procedure.

Aug 30, 2016

Professor Jules Boykoff places Rio 2016 in historical context from the Olympics’ elitist beginnings to their continued strain on host cities. As rising costs burden the public without delivering lasting benefits, fewer cities are "game for the Games."

Aug 23, 2016

Professor Tracey Meares discusses why building community trust must be at the foundation of police reform. Departments can strengthen legitimacy by looking beyond the goal of reducing crime to focus on citizen engagement and addressing past injustices.

Aug 16, 2016

Professor Sarah Horton outlines why so many farmworkers face illness - and even death – on the job. Poor regulation, harsh labor practices, and economic pressures push them to work without shade, water, or breaks and discourage them from speaking up.

Aug 9, 2016

Professor James Curry explains how limited resources have enabled party leaders to write and negotiate most laws in Congress. Lacking expertise, staff, and time, rank-and-file members rarely have the chance to contribute to the bills on which they vote.

Aug 2, 2016

Professor Carolyn Heinrich lays out how and why technology has a growing presence in America’s classrooms. Digital tools offer some benefits, but their effects on student learning can fall behind in-person instruction and may distract more than they help.

Jul 26, 2016

Professor Paru Shah discusses why electing people of color is hindered by segregated districts, voter bias, and election rules and timing. Drawing on her experience as an elected school board member, Shah explains the hurdles for minority candidates.

Jul 19, 2016

Professor Shauna Shames lays out why running for office often comes with additional costs for women and leads many to stay away from politics. Hillary Clinton has overcome the odds and may inspire others to run, but she is more of an outlier than the norm.

Jul 12, 2016

Professor Nicholas Carnes explains the consequences of having mostly white-collar elected officials - a government by the rich, for the rich. Working class Americans and their interests are underrepresented, but Carnes highlights ways to help them run.

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