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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 www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org/nojargon.
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Now displaying: 2018
Oct 11, 2018

College campuses are full of conversations about politics and policy. But many of these college students don’t turn out when it actually matters, on Election Day. Nancy Thomas explores what gets students to vote and how college administrators, faculty members, and students can improve voting rates on their campuses.

Oct 4, 2018

Casting a ballot seems as American as apple pie. But in Florida, one in ten people have had their voting rights taken away because of a criminal conviction. Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy dives into the history of Florida’s voting system, how ex-felons get their rights back, and what Florida voters can do to help.

Sep 27, 2018

Thirty states have laws legalizing marijuana in some form, and come November four more states may join their ranks through ballot initiatives. But these new laws often do little to help people who have past marijuana convictions. Professor Douglas Berman describes this disconnect and what states and the federal government can do to address it.

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Sep 20, 2018

In face of ongoing threats to its environment, California has taken big steps to protect its nature and wildlife. Professor David Vogel lays out California’s history as an environmental leader, how it plans to continue its green streak, and what other states - and the federal government - can learn from California’s policy innovation.

Sep 13, 2018

The government fights forest fires, protects us from foreign invasion, helps people go to college, and so much more. But Americans’ opinions of the government are increasingly negative. Professor Suzanne Mettler dives into why people don’t believe the government benefits them, even when it does, and how to bridge this disconnect between the government and the American people.

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Sep 6, 2018

It’s back to school season and for many children, teachers, and parents across the country school looks very similar. That’s because in 2009, the Common Core was introduced, standardizing what K-12 students should know, and be tested on. Professor Nicholas Tampio describes what that means for public education and imagines a different way forward for America’s schools.

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Aug 30, 2018

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people in America. And black youth in particular face increasing suicide rates and challenges in accessing mental health services. Scholar and advocate Kimya Dennis dives into the background behind these suicide statistics, what prevents black youth from getting help, and how mental health providers can address this disconnect.

If you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) any time of day.

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Aug 23, 2018

An unexpected surgery can cost a worker thousands in medical bills. And in states without paid family and medical leave, they also have to go without a paycheck while recovering. Professors Randy Albelda and Alan Clayton-Matthews explain why paid family and medical leave is important to small businesses, workers, and their families, and how Massachusetts tackled this policy problem with help from their research.

Aug 16, 2018

Knowledge is power. Or at least that’s how the saying goes — but when it comes to climate change and its causes, that knowledge hasn’t translated into action. Postdoctoral Fellow Matthew Motta discusses why climate research is often disregarded, where Americans’ suspicion of scientists comes from, and how our interest in science affects our trust in scientists.

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Aug 9, 2018

Having a warm and comfortable home is important for health and well-being. But with rising rent prices and growing inequality, it can be tough – if not impossible – to find a place to live. Professors Rosie Tighe and Megan Hatch explain why the U.S. has such a shortage of affordable housing, how government programs help, and why they often fall short.

Aug 2, 2018

Since 9/11, fears about extremism have shaped the public’s view of Islam. And American policies often reflect these fears, zeroing in on Muslims and Muslim-Americans in the name of national security. Professor Rachel Gillum explores whether these policies work, why we use them, and how they impact Muslims in America.

Jul 26, 2018

In April 2018, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced legislation to make basic banking services, like loans and check cashing, available at every branch of the United States Postal Service. Professor Mehrsa Baradaran explains the history of that idea, why postal banking is needed now, and how it can help reduce America’s growing inequality.

Jul 19, 2018

A college degree can make a huge difference for parents and their kids. But if you’ve got an eight-year-old to support and a low-paying job, it’s next to impossible to pay for both tuition and childcare. For residents of Maine, a new law will help. Working with Joby Thoyalil of Maine Equal Justice Partners, Professors Luisa DePrez and Lisa Dodson used their research on the benefits of a college education for low-income women to help advance a bill called LIFT 2.0.

Jul 12, 2018

Lawyers, doctors, engineers, and bankers are among America’s most respected professionals, and most are middle-aged white men. So what are the experiences of black men who join their ranks? Adia Harvey Wingfield describes how black men in high-powered professions navigate race and gender in the workplace, and what their experiences say about our changing economy.

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Jul 5, 2018

Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, Americans have been talking about data: what online information is saved, what we should do with it, and who gets to decide. But these conversations often miss an important piece — government data. Professor Matthew Weber lays out what is currently happening with data collection and why we should actually save more information than we currently do.

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  • Read about the impossibility of comprehensive digital archives in the Atlantic
  • Check out efforts to preserve federal agency data, featured in Forbes
Jun 28, 2018

Everyone needs healthcare. But Americans can’t agree on how to fix our troubled healthcare system. Now, the Trump Administration and a number of states are pushing one idea — require people on Medicaid to work. Professor Philip Rocco explains what’s behind these new requirements, what they would mean for people on Medicaid, and why they should really be called paperwork requirements.

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Jun 22, 2018

The Trump Administration’s zero tolerance policy for migrants produced widespread outrage. Specific policies are in flux, so we asked researchers for the important context to understand what’s happening. For this special episode, professors Heide Castañeda and Nara Milanich describe who these migrants are, how zero tolerance policies impact them and their health, and what – if any – historical precedents exist for these policies.

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Jun 21, 2018

Democracy is under threat. From Venezuela to Turkey, from Hungary to the Philippines, powerful leaders are rewriting their countries norms and laws to secure power at the expense of their citizens. Professor Steven Levitsky tells us how democracies die – and what the outlook is for America.

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Jun 14, 2018

America is getting more diverse, and that means more children of color are students in our schools. But teachers are still overwhelmingly white, so many of these students rarely see teachers who look like them. Professor Michèle Foster tells the little-known story of why America lost many of its black teachers, what that means for students, and what can be done to change things.

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Jun 6, 2018

There are thousands of civic organizations in America, from big-time lobbying groups to local grassroots organizations, and they all want your time and support. But some organizations are more effective at creating change than others. Professor Ziad Munson explains what kinds of organizations have been most successful in shaping American public life – and why.

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May 30, 2018

Unions used to be a major political force in America. But over the last few decades they have steadily declined, and now a Supreme Court case might deal another severe blow to their strength. Professor Jake Rosenfeld explains what the Supreme Court is deciding on and what it means for the future of organized labor in America.

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May 23, 2018

In 1973, the Supreme Court made access to abortions a legal right. Since then, crisis pregnancy centers have popped up across the country to dissuade women from getting abortions. Professor Kimberly Kelly explains the history and organization behind these centers and how their current case before the Supreme Court could shape reproductive rights in America.

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May 16, 2018

The opioid epidemic is ravaging communities across America and there’s no silver bullet to fix it. But communicating to people about risks and steps to prevent addiction is a start. Professor Itzhak Yanovitzky describes how New Jersey uses information to help fight the opioid epidemic and how his research partnership with the state helps to improve these efforts.

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May 9, 2018

Following the 2016 election, suburban well-educated women got together in PTA groups, libraries, and coffee shops to organize—some for the first time. Professor Lara Putnam shares insights on how these groups work, what their goals are, and why they have been so effective at mobilizing voters.

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May 2, 2018

America—the world’s wealthiest country—is home to over 40 million people living under the poverty line. And for many, there is no safety net to fall back on. Professor Joan Maya Mazelis explains how we got here and highlights one innovative organization, run by and for poor people, that builds community among the poor and provides help when the safety net is missing.

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