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Scholars Strategy Network's No Jargon

No Jargon, the Scholars Strategy Network’s monthly 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. New episodes released once a month.
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Scholars Strategy Network's No Jargon
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Now displaying: Page 1
May 3, 2022

Millennials are often seen as a progressive-minded generation – as 80’s and 90’s kids, they grew up in a digital landscape that exposed them to a diversity of perspectives. But while expectations were high that this generation would be on the frontlines in the fight for racial equality, recent research by  Associate Professor of Political Science Candis Watts Smith paints a different picture. During our conversation, Professor Smith discussed how white millennials’ really think about race  and the ways in which their views and beliefs have largely halted progress for Black Americans and other racial minorities in the United States. 

For more of Candis Smith’s work:

Check out her book on this research, Racial Stasis: The Millennial Generation and the Stagnation of Racial Attitudes in American Politics 

Read her latest book Stay Woke: A People’s Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter

Listen to her podcast, Democracy Works, to hear interviews with experts who study all different aspects of what it means to live in a democracy.

Apr 5, 2022

Conversations around climate change often focus on the consumption habits of everyday people: the cars we drive, the food we eat, our electricity bills. But according to geography professor Matt Huber, the carbon footprints of consumers are not what we should be so concerned about, despite all the rhetoric. During our conversation, Professor Huber focused on what (and who) he argues are largely responsible for our alarmingly high rate of carbon emissions – and offered solutions.

 

For more of Matt Huber’s work:

Check out his new book coming out on May 10th: Climate Change as Class War

Read his opinion article on this topic published in Jacobin: Rich People are Fueling Climate Catastrophe – But Not Mostly Because of Their Consumption 

 

Mar 1, 2022
The 2020 presidential election brought disinformation – defined as false information with the intent to mislead – to the forefront of public conversation. Subsequent events, such as the January 6 riot, reveal the serious danger disinformation can pose to democracy. To learn more about the far-reaching consequences of digital disinformation, we spoke with nationally recognized election law expert Rick Hasen, a Professor of Law and Political Science at University of California, Irvine. During the conversation, Professor Hasen shared tangible solutions to combat the rise of disinformation campaigns during US elections.  For more of Rick Hasen’s work:

Check out his new book coming out on March 8th Cheap Speech: How Disinformation Poisons Our Politics – and How to Cure It

Read another one of his recent books on this topic  Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy

Feb 1, 2022
The postpartum experience can be challenging enough for American mothers in normal times, but add a pandemic to the equation, and you may be left with a postpartum nightmare. To better understand what the birthing and postpartum experiences looked like in the early days of the pandemic and how the current Omicron surge mirrors those early days for new mothers, we spoke with Dr. Tova Walsh, an Assistant Professor of social work at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Walsh has spent the last two years interviewing women who gave birth in the earliest days of the pandemic - an experience she shares with her research subjects. She explained the challenges these new mothers faced and laid out policy recommendations to improve postpartum care going forward.  

For more of Tova Walsh’s work:

Check out her recent opinion article published in NBC News: As COVID surges, health officials must remember that in-person postpartum care is essential 

Listen to her interviews about the experience of early parenting during the pandemic, on Wisconsin Public Radio and Slate’s parenting podcast.

Jan 4, 2022

Amidst the dizzying onslaught of crises facing the nation – and the world – over the past several years, we are starting the new year by reflecting on how Americans react and respond to traumatic events, both as individuals and as groups. How do frightening circumstances facing our communities impact us psychologically? Why does so much disparity exist in the ways we process the same harmful events? How can we connect and find unity amidst all the chaos? These are some of the questions we explored with Dr. Maurice Stevens, a professor of comparative studies whose critical trauma theory research focuses on ways individuals and communities react to overwhelming events.

 

For more of Maurice Stevens’s work:

Check out their SSN brief on this topic: Getting Beyond Trauma.

Read a similar piece they published in Oppositional Conversations titled Contesting Catastrophes.

Dec 7, 2021

Tribal communities are entitled to federally funded healthcare under treaties signed with the U.S. government. And yet, Native Americans often struggle to access  quality healthcare, creating health disparities that take a tremendous toll on their lives . In this episode, research scientist Dr. Emily Haozous explains what those health disparities have looked like over the past few decades, where they stand now, and what needs to be done to better meet the health needs of tribal communities.

 

For more of Emily Haozous’s work:

Read her SSN brief on this topic: Challenges on the Horizon for Native American Sovereignty and Healthcare  

Learn about some of her past research on the health needs of the Native population in Santa Fe, in The Santa Fe Reporter.

Nov 2, 2021

The decades-long childcare crisis in America -- worsened by the pandemic -- continues to deepen: parents all across the nation have been facing immense challenges in finding quality, affordable childcare, all while childcare providers continue to deal with poor working conditions and cripplingly low wages. This month, we spoke to labor economist Mary King, who focuses on the public provision of high quality preschool and childcare. During our conversation, Dr. King offered a detailed examination of the crisis and explained the many advantages of creating a universal preschool program.  

 

For more of Mary King’s work:

Read her three SSN briefs on this topic: New Preschool Program in Oregon is a Model for the Nation -- But Challenges Remain, The Labor Force for Needed Investments in Public Childcare Already Exists, and To Address the Childcare Crisis, Talk to Low Wage Moms

Oct 5, 2021

With a near-total abortion ban that was recently passed in Texas and Mississippi’s request to overturn Roe v. Wade making its way to the Supreme Court, many are asking what the uptick in abortion restrictions in the US will mean for reproductive health and justice. On this latest episode, Professor Amanda Stevenson draws on her new research to show how abortion bans lead to an increase in pregnancy-related deaths and steps policymakers can take to expand greater access to reproductive health services. 

For more on Amanda Stevenson’s research and this topic:

Check out her latest opinion piece published in Salon: Pregnancy is Much More Dangerous Than Abortion -- Meaning Abortion Bans Like Texas’ Will Be More Deadly

Take a look at the CDC”s Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System page that provides stats on pregnancy-related deaths.

Sep 8, 2021

Join us for the official relaunch of the No Jargon Podcast! For our first episode since our eleven-month hiatus, we take on Big Tech and government. Tech giants like Amazon and Facebook have been in the news a lot lately, especially after the House Judiciary Committee approved several antitrust bills this past summer that aim to curb the power of the tech industry. We decided to have a conversation with Margaret O’Mara, a renowned historian who has spent most of her career examining the love/hate relationship between Big Tech and government. Dr. O’Mara shares colorful stories about Silicon Valley – from its early beginnings to the days of the internet boom – all while explaining the Valley’s ever-present intersection with US politics. She takes us on a journey through the ups and downs of the intensely eventful relationship between the two.

 

For more of Margaret O’Mara’s work:

Oct 9, 2020

The 2020 election is quickly approaching and there is no lack of challenges for election administrators to overcome. From a pandemic that’s made finding poll workers difficult, to a massive influx of vote-by-mail ballots that are likely to delay results, to perhaps the biggest challenge of them all: the false rhetoric coming from the White House around the validity of the entire process. In this special episode, Professor Thessalia Merivaki lays out how election administrators are addressing these challenges, what we can expect come November, and what types of voter suppression to watch out for.

For more on this topic:

 

 

Sep 25, 2020

No Jargon is back for a special episode featuring Dr. Emma Sandoe. Medicaid has become the largest source of health care coverage in America. Just this year, even more states expanded their Medicaid programs, meaning that this trend is only going to continue. And yet, many people still don’t know much about this program. Dr. Sandoe explains how we got here, what lessons we can learn from the history of this program, and what the future of Medicaid looks like amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

For more on this topic:

Jun 25, 2020

Since the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police at the end of May, the United States has been rocked by weeks of nationwide protests against police brutality, and it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere anytime soon. Professor Vesla Weaver dives into how this movement is different from protests of the past, what brought us to the current situation, how our nation’s police system has affected Black and Brown people’s lives and understanding of our democracy, and what to make of calls for changes, such as abolishing the police.

For more on this topic:

Note: This episode includes some explicit language.

Jun 18, 2020

The 2020 election was already shaping up to be one of the most consequential and contentious in recent memory, and then came the COVID-19 pandemic. While much about the future is uncertain, we know this: the election cannot be run as originally planned. Professor Amel Ahmed lays out what policymakers can do to ensure that all voters can exercise their right to vote, what research can tell us about these various proposals, and how we can ensure that the public knows everything they need to vote before November comes.

For more on this topic:

Jun 11, 2020

Even at the best of times, accessing abortion care in the United States can be an arduous process. During a pandemic, the challenges only mount further. Clinics are closed down and, in some places, politicians have begun using COVID-19 to block abortion, calling it “nonessential” healthcare. Professor Carrie Baker explores whether telemedicine abortion could provide a solution, what barriers exist to implementing it, and what this all means for the future of reproductive rights in the United States.

For more on this topic:

Jun 2, 2020

In cities and towns across the country, protests have erupted following the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and others. While many of the protests remained peaceful, others turned violent, with buildings being destroyed or looted and clashes breaking out between the police and protestors. In this archive episode, Professor Ashley Howard explains the history behind these protests, why protests sometimes turn violent, how governments often respond, and what the role of social media is in all of this.

For more on this topic:

This episode originally aired on February 14, 2017.

May 28, 2020

Being a college student can be stressful enough, but when you’re an undocumented immigrant, there are many additional hurdles in your way. Dr. Sayil Camacho unpacks what it’s like to be an undocumented student at our nation’s colleges and universities, what more university administrators and faculty can do to support them, and how DACA and the upcoming Supreme Court decision on the program factor into it all.

For More on This Topic:

May 21, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, it’s widely accepted that without a vaccine, life cannot go back to normal. But as it turns out, not everyone is on board. Over the last several years, an anti-vaccine movement has gained steam in the United States, with more and more people deciding to skip vaccines for themselves and their children. In this archive episode, Dr. Matthew Woodruff dives into the science and history behind vaccines and how we can better educate people on their value.

This episode originally aired on August 8, 2017.

For More on This Topic:

May 14, 2020

The scene is so common it’s almost cliche: two beautiful young people meet at a rowdy college party and drunkenly fall into bed together. American pop culture is fascinated by college hookups, but is casual sex really as widespread as it seems? Professor Lisa Wade breaks down who participates in hookup culture, what they get out of it, and as more students speak up about the problem of on-campus sexual assault, what role universities have to play in shaping their sexual cultures.

For more on this topic

 

May 7, 2020

In any sense of the word, the COVID-19 crisis can be considered a disaster. Tens of thousands of people have lost their lives, millions have lost their jobs, and nearly everyone is experiencing a sense of shock at how quickly our world was turned upside down. But of course, the current crisis is also dramatically different from previous disasters, like hurricanes or wildfires. Professor Susan Sterett dives into how COVID-19 follows the same patterns of previous disasters and how it diverges, what we can learn from previous disasters to inform our current efforts, and how we can prepare for a future where the coronavirus will inevitably collide with other disasters.

For more on this topic:

Apr 30, 2020

Every Thursday since America started locking down to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus, a tragic new number is released: the latest unemployment claims. Tens of millions of Americans have already filed for unemployment, and that number is likely to keep going up. Professor Anna Gassman-Pines lays out who is most affected by the dramatic economic downturn we’re seeing, what job losses mean for children, families, and entire communities, and how policymakers can help buffer against some of the worst effects of this economic crisis.

For more on this topic:

Apr 23, 2020

With the COVID-19 crisis spreading rapidly across the US, much attention has been paid to the hospitals on the front lines of this pandemic. But there is another set of healthcare providers that also has a crucial role to play in managing this outbreak: community health centers. Professor Peter Shin unpacks what exactly community health centers are, why they were established and who they serve, what role they have to play in the COVID-19 pandemic, and how policymakers can ensure their survival during this unprecedented time.

For more on this topic:

Apr 16, 2020

We’re in April, as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. Today, the U.S. has more reported cases than any other nation on earth - a fact that may in part be due to testing levels, but could also be due to a series of massive public policy mistakes. In the U.S., the federal response has been chaotic, to say the least. And here’s one reason: President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi don’t talk to each other. The intense anger and distrust between Republicans and Democrats could literally be costing our nation lives. Lee Drutman explains how we got into this mess and how we can get out of it. 

For more on this topic:

Apr 9, 2020

As policymakers on Capitol Hill work to expand America’s safety net in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn, it’s becoming increasingly clear that it might not be enough. So where can we look for guidance on what more needs to be done? Perhaps another deadly virus, HIV, where a separate and robust safety net has been established to support those who have been diagnosed. Professor Celeste Watkins-Hayes explains what the HIV/AIDS safety net looks like, what we can learn from this previous effort to combat a deadly virus, and how the inequalities of the HIV/AIDS epidemic are playing out with coronavirus.

For more on this topic:

Apr 2, 2020

With governments rushing to put in place policies and guidelines to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, it’s important to look to the past to inform the present. And we don’t have to look far. Just 5 years ago, the world was concerned with a completely different outbreak: ebola. Professor Lily Tsai and Dr. Ben Morse examine how governments at the epicenter of the ebola outbreak responded to the spread of the disease, what the role of trust is in ensuring that people comply with government recommendations, and how leaders can build trust and buy-in both during and before a crisis.

For more on this topic:

Mar 26, 2020

Around the United States, schools are shutting down due to coronavirus. For some Americans, this means setting up a home office and learning to work with children underfoot. But others are facing a far more serious crisis: with school cafeterias closed indefinitely and employment increasingly precarious, how will they manage to put food on the table? Professor Daphne Hernandez lays out the problem of food insecurity in America, how coronavirus is affecting the situation, and what policymakers can do to help families in need -- now and in the future.

For more on this topic:

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