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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 3
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.

 

For more on this topic:

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.

Dec 5, 2019

This year, millennials officially became the largest generation in America. In passing over Baby Boomers, these young Americans, along with Generation Z, have the potential to change US politics by making their voices heard at the polls. The only problem is, many of them don’t turn out to vote. Professor Jake Grumbach explains what’s behind their low voter turnout, how one policy could change that, and what this all says about the role of states in pushing US policy and democracy forward.

Nov 21, 2019

The old saying goes: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And yet, across the country, there are thousands of children who struggle to find a good meal in the morning. In fact, hunger is likely a bigger problem in this country than most people realize. Professor Maureen Berner lays out the problem of food insecurity in American, what it can tell us about the larger issue of poverty, and how we need to reframe our thinking to address the problem.

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Nov 14, 2019

Imagine you’re a working parent. You make ends meet with a part-time job at a department store, but the ever-changing schedule makes life difficult. Some weeks, you work so much that you’re left scrambling for last-minute childcare. Others, you barely get enough hours to cover all your expenses. Professor Susan Lambert describes why this has become the reality for an increasing number of Americans, how these scheduling practices impact both employees and their employers, and what policymakers can do to ease the burden.

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Nov 7, 2019

What works best to teach children in our schools? How does pollution affect public health? Why is economic inequality on the rise? These are just some of the big and important questions researchers try to answer every day. But all too often, their findings don’t actually help usher in improvements in the lives of people. Why not? The William T. Grant Foundation’s Vivian Tseng shares the history of research use in U.S. education policy, how a new approach to research can improve connections between scholars and policymakers, and what further changes are needed to make research matter.

For more on this topic:

  • Read Vivian’s blog post about evidence use across sectors and around the globe
  • Find her paper with Professor Cynthia Coburn on using evidence in the U.S.
  • Check out the William T. Grant Foundation’s research grants on improving the use of research evidence
Oct 31, 2019

Twenty-one years ago this month, a gay University of Wyoming student by the name of Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered. His story brought national attention to anti-LGBT hate crimes and spurred a popular movement for hate crime legislation. Since then, the LGBT community has won major advances and become more visible than ever - but hateful attacks are on the rise. Professor Liz Coston explores why these crimes keep happening, what they look like in 2019, and what can be done to protect and support the LGBT community in the years to come.

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Oct 24, 2019

America is the richest country on Earth with some of the most advanced healthcare services you can find. And yet, every year, hundreds of women die during childbirth, an issue that particularly affects black women. One of the potential solutions that’s being offered: returning to the centuries old practice of community midwives. Rachel Applewhite lays out what research can tell us about the effectiveness of midwives and doulas, how they help serve communities left behind by our healthcare system, and what can be done to expand access to their potentially life-saving services.

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Oct 17, 2019

Despite an ongoing impeachment inquiry, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been signaling that a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada is in the final stages of negotiations, and Congress could be ready for a vote in the near future. In this archive episode, Professor Alyshia Gálvez dives into the often overlooked consequences of this trade agreement on food and health in both the U.S. and Mexico. 

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Oct 10, 2019

With a global climate strike on September 20th and waves of protests surrounding the UN summit on climate change, public interest in science seems to be on the rise. And scientists are answering the call, with more researchers than ever taking to social media to share their work with the public and each other. Professor Sara Yeo discusses how different audiences perceive science communication, the ways in which emotions can factor into it, and how scientists can make the most of engaging online.

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Oct 3, 2019

America’s schools are supposed to treat all students fairly. But we know that all too often, black students face racial discrimination, stigma, and stereotypes in their schools. And for black girls in particular, that can be compounded by their gender as well. Professor Seanna Leath explains how do these experiences affect the lives and development of black girls, what broader stereotypes and stigmas exist around mental health for black women, and what can be done to improve the situation.

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Sep 26, 2019

Memphis, Baltimore, and Detroit. East Cleveland, Ohio, and Wilkinson, Pennsylvania. Black cities are on the rise. In 1970, Black people made up a majority of 460 cities and towns across the United States. Forty-seven years later, the number of majority Black municipalities is up to 1,262. Dr. Andre Perry discusses what is driving this increase, why black cities and black neighborhoods have been devalued, and how America can do right by these places.

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Sep 19, 2019

Climate change is threatening our world, that much is becoming more and more apparent every year. And often it seems like little is happening on a policy level to address this impending crisis. But, in 2008, a group of states in the Northeast managed what seemed nearly impossible. They put in place a robust, multi-state system to put a price on carbon. Professor Leigh Raymond explains how they were able to overcome obstacles that have doomed so much other climate policy, how exactly this system works, and what lessons can be learned for other climate proposals.

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Sep 12, 2019

For many people, regular visits to the dentist are little more than a necessary inconvenience. But in lower-income communities, access to dental care can be all but nonexistent - with serious consequences for public health. Professor Donald Chi lays out how a single childhood cavity can lead to a lifetime of problems, why so many people struggle to access even basic dental care, and what policymakers can do to provide every American with the coverage they need.

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Sep 5, 2019

Back-to-school season is upon us, and back as well are some familiar debates. From charter schools to voucher programs, education in America is becoming more privatized than ever - and some communities are pushing back. Professor Janelle Scott reveals why so many schools are shifting toward privatization, why these reforms are so controversial, and what they mean for inequality in America’s education system.

For more on this topic:

  • Check out Scott’s research paper with Jennifer Holme on this topic (paywall)
Aug 29, 2019

Imagine a nation where the political rules are unfair. In this imagine nation, there are two parties. The Big Country party has its strengthen in rural areas and gets a big head start in every election - they get to win if they earn around 46 percent of the vote. The other party, the party of the city people, gets held back - to win, they need to earn about 54 percent of the vote. As it turns out, this is not an imaginary nation at all, it’s the United States of America. Professor Jonathan Rodden dives into the research from his book on why cities lose when it comes to elections, what that means for our political system, and what can be done to change the situation.

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