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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: 2024
Jul 10, 2024

The first major storm of the 2024 season, Hurricane Beryl, made history by breaking multiple records and causing widespread devastation along its path. Many of these records were previously set in 2005, a year infamous for storms like Hurricane Katrina, which severely impacted New Orleans. Professor Elizabeth Fussell, a resident of the city at the time, was compelled to study the impact of Katrina. Drawing on this research, she shares insights on how extreme weather events impact communities and what we can learn from this storm, and others like it, to improve our responses as climate change makes these disasters more common and powerful.  

For more on this topic:

 

Jun 10, 2024

The dual challenges of mental illness and lack of affordable housing are pressing issues in this election year. In March, California voters narrowly approved Proposition 1, which allocates $6.4 billion to construct new housing and treatment facilities for people with mental illness statewide. But will this measure truly benefit this vulnerable population? Professor Neil Gong delves into the history of mental health treatment in the U.S. and how it has shaped our current system and policy conversations. He tells stories of people he met through his research to highlight the stark differences between mental health care available to the wealthy and the poor, and explores potential policy changes to address the intertwined challenges of homelessness and mental health. 

For more of Neil Gong’s work:

 

May 7, 2024

Misinformation seems to be everywhere. From falsehoods about the coronavirus to lies being spread by political leaders and their followers, in recent years it feels like it’s getting harder and harder to discern fact from fiction. And with social media and AI permeating our lives, new technologies only seem to be making the situation worse. Professor Ray Block dives into the world of misinformation, sharing lessons from his new position as the Michael D. Rich Distinguished Chair for Countering Truth Decay at the RAND Corporation about what’s behind the problem and what can be done to address it.

For more on this topic:

  • Listen to this Call with the Experts podcast episode from the RAND Corporation, featuring Professor Ray Block.

  • Check out this RAND Corporation Q&A on the end of Covid-19 public health emergency.

 

Apr 3, 2024

In March, the Justice Department filed a major antitrust complaint against Apple accusing the tech giant of maintaining a monopoly over the smartphone market. This is just the latest action the government has taken against Big Tech in recent years, marking a clear shift from the cozy relationship the industry long had with Washington. What’s behind the love/hate relationship between Big Tech and our government? And what can Silicon Valley’s past reveal about the way this might all play out going forward? In this archive episode, originally recorded in September 2021, Professor Margaret O’mara digs into the history of Silicon Valley – from its early beginnings to the days of the internet boom – to explain the Valley’s ever-present intersection with US politics and make sense of the recent shift.

For more of Margaret O’Mara’s work:

 

Mar 5, 2024

Border crossings coming into the United States are at some of their highest levels in recent history. Cities like Chicago and New York are struggling to provide services while the immigration system is running out of funding and faces a massive backlog of asylum applications. The situation is looking tough for many asylum seekers, but what happens when individuals make it through the system and are granted refugee status?

Enter refugee resettlement agencies – organizations that provide food, shelter, and of course, job placement to newly arrived refugees. But according to sociologist Dr. Nicole Kreisberg, their current strategy of job placement is deeply flawed: prioritizing immediate yet low-wage work over long-term reliable employment. In this archive episode, originally released in August 2022, Kreisberg spoke to us about the harms of this strategy and what needs to be done to truly support incoming refugees.

For more on this topic:

Feb 6, 2024

Martin Luther King Jr. holds a special place in the American consciousness and is one of the few people to have a federal holiday celebrating his legacy. But what exactly is MLK’s legacy? From immigrants rights groups to gun rights activists to politicians, the history of the civil rights movement and MLK’s work and words have long been used, and contested, by many different people. Drawing from her new book, Professor Hajar Yazdiha explained why MLK holds such a prominent place in our shared memory, how politicians and social movements have used his legacy for their own causes, and how all this has impacted policy decisions.

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Jan 9, 2024

From healthcare strikes to auto workers strikes to the Writers Guild and Hollywood actors strikes, 2023 was an eventful year for union activity. Professor Nathan Wilmers examined the implications of that activity and what it may mean for the future of the labor movement as employees fight for fair wages, equality, and protection in the workplace. Importantly, Professor Wilmers highlighted the history of the labor movement over the past few decades – as it may provide some answers for the future. 

For more on this topic:

Read Wilmers’ paper, co-written by Maxim Massenkof: Economic Outcomes of Strikers in an Era of Weak Unions

Read his SSN policy brief: Does Union Activism Actually Raise Wages?

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