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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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Scholars Strategy Network's No Jargon
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Now displaying: Page 1
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Mar 19, 2020

Money. Power. Knowledge. Health. Education. When you look around the world, when it comes to resources and opportunities, there are massive imbalances between countries and even inside countries. In the name of making the world a better place, people and institutions with great wealth often donate some of their money around the world through philanthropy. Rakesh Rajani shares stories and lessons learned from years of work in global philanthropy and outlines what changes are needed to make this work more effective and meaningful.

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Mar 12, 2020

With the 2020 primary in full swing, college campuses are full of conversations about politics, policy, and the future of American democracy. But many of these college students don’t turn out when it actually matters, on Election Day. In fact, in the last presidential election, only around half of all young voters came out to the polls. In this archive episode, Dr. Nancy Thomas explores what gets students to vote and how college administrators, faculty members, and students can improve voting rates on their campuses.

 

This episode originally aired on October 11, 2018.

 

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Check out a Washington Post story about their 2018 midterm election report showing that rates among college students doubled

Mar 5, 2020

Social media has permeated countless aspects of our daily lives. But perhaps no platform has influenced the media like Twitter, shaping not only what many journalists cover, but also how they cover it. Professor Shannon McGregor dives into the role of Twitter in today’s media environment, why the platform is an imperfect measure of public opinion, and how social media can become a better tool for journalists working with limited resources at their disposal. 

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Feb 27, 2020

Over the last couple of years, states have passed increasingly restrictive laws in an effort to reduce access to abortion. And this year, the Supreme Court is deciding on new cases that could validate some of the harshest laws, potentially opening the door for an end to Roe v. Wade. But at the forefront of this fight over abortion access are providers few people know about: independent abortion clinics. PhD candidate Amy Alterman explains what exactly these independent clinics are, how they are affected by anti-abortion stigma, and how comedians are helping to lift up and support their work.

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Feb 20, 2020

In 2009, Barack Obama was sworn in as the first African American president in this country’s history after a momentous election. But for many in this country, that election was anything but joyous. Soon after, a movement that became known as the Tea Party took shape on the right in opposition to this president and his policies. Fast forward 8 years and a very familiar story seemed to play out, but this time on the left. It became known as The Resistance. PhD candidate Leah Gose explains what similarities and differences exist between these two groups and what we can learn by looking at the two of them together.

Feb 13, 2020

Over the last few decades, minority enrollment at America’s colleges and universities has increased exponentially. These institutions, many predominantly white, like to tout enrollment rates as evidence of their commitment to racial diversity. But do these numbers tell the whole story? Professor Bedelia Richards details how black students still frequently experience discrimination on campus, what this means for their education and wellbeing, and how universities can make change to help create more inclusive campuses.

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Feb 6, 2020

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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This episode originally aired on June 14, 2018.

Jan 23, 2020

We are living in the midst of an epidemic. Over the past 15 years, the number of Americans dying from opioid-related overdoses has skyrocketed by more than 200%. Facing a mounting death toll, policymakers have proposed solutions from needle exchanges to reducing the availability of prescription opioids. But the crisis seems to rage on. Professor Keith Humphreys digs into how we got here, what we know about which policy responses actually work, and what might be next in the never ending fight against addiction.

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Jan 16, 2020

What should the next 10 or 20 years look like in the United States? Many Americans say we need to go back to the future. They want to restore something, or protect something they’re worried the United States is losing. And that’s not just the Make America Great Again crowd. But others argue that it’s not time to restore democracy -- it’s time to realize democracy. Dr. K. Sabeel Rahman explains what it would take to make America’s democracy work for everyone  and why the time for big, structural change is now.

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Jan 9, 2020

Last year, climate change took center stage. With presidential candidates releasing bold plans to tackle the issue, massive protests organized by young people across the globe, and ever more dire reports coming out of the United Nations, this issue is getting attention unlike ever before. Doctor Fernando Tormos-Aponte discusses where climate organizing stands now, how some organizers are focusing on justice and equity in their work, and how this is all playing out in Puerto Rico after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

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Dec 12, 2019

No one likes to believe they would be on the wrong side of history. Most of us prefer to think that in times of crisis, we would do the right thing -- we wouldn’t be complicit in evil. Yet every day, individuals just doing their jobs make decisions that harm people. And when many members of an organization make many small, harmful decisions, that builds up. Professor Ashley Nickels lays out how organizational decisions and structures can lead to real acts of evil that harm individuals and whole communities, how this played out in Flint, Michigan, and what can be done to prevent tragedy before it strikes.

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