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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: Page 3
May 30, 2019

Public policy influences just about every part of our lives, and perhaps one of the most important is our health and well-being. In this episode, produced in collaboration with the Health Policy Research Scholar program by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, two PhD candidates share their research on some unintended consequences at the intersection of health and policy. First, Tyler Jimenez explains how existential threats, like the fear of death, can affect people’s support for policies meant to address health inequalities. Next, Amy Jones lays out how the lives of students of color are impacted by our push for diversity on campuses, and what this means for their health.

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May 23, 2019

Many of us are part of one organization or another that’s hoping to create change. Yet all too often, it feels like the levers of change are stuck. Professor Hahrie Han tells the stories of a few organizations that have been able to break through, get a seat at the table, and create real, tangible results. When it comes to organizing, there is no magic formula, but her research sheds light on patterns from groundbreaking organizations that can lead to success.

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May 16, 2019

For many renters, evictions can depend on the whims and wishes of their landlord. And with no right to a lawyer in housing court, there’s almost no chance to fight back and win. But that all recently changed in New York City and San Francisco. Professor Jamila Michener explains how both cities came to enact groundbreaking new laws to help tenants get access to a lawyer and what the movements behind these laws say about the power of organizing.

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May 9, 2019

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. But while this is one day of celebrating moms everywhere, many of them aren’t doing so well the other 364 days of the year. That’s because more moms today are struggling to balance work and family life, often with little support. Professor Caitlyn Collins breaks down how US moms are doing these days, how our family support system compares to other countries, and what needs to change to better support working mothers year-round.

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May 2, 2019

Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren recently proposed a massive plan to eliminate most student debt and tuition at public colleges. But student debt is just one part of the larger problem of college affordability. Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab explains the impact of the high cost of college on students at public and community colleges, including hunger, homelessness, and debt without getting a degree, and offers concrete solutions.

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Apr 25, 2019

The presidential race for 2020 is already well underway and two of the biggest policies Democratic hopefuls are pushing include a $15 minimum wage and Medicare-for-All. Professor Jeannette Wicks-Lim lays out the costs and benefits of each and what these massive policy changes would mean for the country—and for inequality.

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Apr 19, 2019

Wildfires, flooding, and some of warmest years on record -- climate change has become an ever more imminent threat. But without action from DC, the states have become the frontline of climate change policy. Professor Leah Stokes unravels the history of clean energy laws in the states, how environmental advocates and industry groups have battled it out there, and how the Green New Deal fits into the fight.

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Apr 11, 2019

Inequality is rampant in America’s schools and many of the proposed fixes end up falling far short of their goals. But ethnic studies courses have shown to be a potentially powerful solution. Professor Nolan Cabrera dives into the legal fight over these courses, how these programs can work in schools across the country, and what they can do for student achievement.

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Apr 4, 2019

This week, we’re bringing you an episode of Democracy Works, a podcast that examines what it means to live in a democracy. This episode is a conversation with David Frum, a prolific author and former speechwriter for George W. Bush. David is a passionate defender of democracy and talks with Democracy Works host Jenna Spinelle about how everyone can become better democratic citizens. Democracy Works is produced by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State and WPSU Penn State, central Pennsylvania’s NPR station. New episodes are released every Monday at democracyworkspodcast.com or your favorite podcast app.

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Mar 28, 2019

We like to think that state governments make decisions based on their particular situations. But it turns out, often that’s not the case. In fact, three large conservative groups have gained massive influence in state houses across the country, working to pass legislation in line with their views and corporate sponsors. Professor Alexander Hertel-Fernandez explains their rise and strategies, why state governments are so susceptible to their influence, and what this all means for American democracy.

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Mar 21, 2019

Flint, Michigan has been in crisis since 2014, plagued with unsafe drinking water and a local government in debt. Thankfully nonprofits came to the rescue, donating millions of dollars and hundreds of hours to help in the long process of bringing clean water back. Professor Davia Cox Downey tells the story of two Michigan cities in crisis, how each benefited from the help of nonprofits, and what still needs to be done to restore trust in the local government.

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Mar 14, 2019

The death penalty has a long and controversial history in the US. And 30 states still have it on the books. But in 2018, the Washington State Supreme Court decided to ban this punishment after seeing evidence of deep racial inequalities. Doctors Katherine Beckett and Heather Evans lay out what their research says about the death penalty in Washington, how they got involved in this case, and what it was like defending their work with life and death on the line.

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Mar 7, 2019

The future of affirmative action is unclear. Harvard has been taken to court for its admissions policies and the case is likely to be the first affirmative action case in front of the new Supreme Court judges. In this archive episode, Professor Natasha Warikoo discusses investigations into school admissions and how focusing on diversity ignores the real reasons for affirmative action.

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Feb 28, 2019

In a democracy, government is supposed to represent the people. But Congress doesn’t exactly look like your average American. In fact, lawyers make up a huge number of our federal representatives, but only a small percentage of the American population. Professor Adam Bonica unravels why we have so many lawyers in office, what fundraising has to do with it, and what it all means for how our government functions.

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Feb 21, 2019

Every February students across the country learn about Black History Month, including the civil rights movement. But educating children on the civil rights movement takes on a special role when you’re located in Birmingham, Alabama. Professor Tondra Loder-Jackson dives into the history of civil rights activism in Birmingham’s schools and what teachers today should know as they tackle this important topic in their classrooms.

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Feb 15, 2019

Americans are more likely to die of an opioid overdose than of a car accident. But even as national attention has shed light on this crisis, opioid addiction remains a difficult problem to solve. Professor Peggy Compton lays out how doctors can help patients suffering from chronic pain without turning to opioids, what treatments actually work for people who do develop an opioid addiction, and how to encourage wider use of these evidence-based practices.

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Feb 7, 2019

America’s democracy is in uncharted waters. From attacks on the media to challenges against free and fair elections and the longest government shutdown in US history, the future of American democracy looks increasingly unclear. Recorded at the SSN National Leadership Convening, Washington Post Columnist EJ Dionne talks through the media’s responsibility in these tense times and one big policy idea to help right the ship.

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Jan 31, 2019

The consequences of climate change are looking increasingly dangerous and imminent, yet little has been done to address this crisis. Professor Garth Heutel lays out a potentially cost-effective way to reduce global temperatures and stave off global warming. But solar geoengineering is not a silver bullet. While the benefits are clear, the costs are much more uncertain.

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Jan 17, 2019

Real estate agents help us navigate the housing market, get the best prices, and find the perfect house to call a home. But they also help decide who gets to live where, and not everyone gets the same options. Professor Elizabeth Korver-Glenn shares her research on the hidden ways real estate agents keep neighborhoods segregated, and what can be done to change their ways.

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Jan 10, 2019

In the last few years, the United States has seen one horrific mass shooting after another. But despite public outcry and support for gun control legislation, little has changed. In this second episode with Professor Robert Spitzer, he lays out what policies have been implemented federally and in the states and what policies could actually work to reduce gun violence.

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Jan 3, 2019

In 2018, the debate about gun rights and gun control was front and center after a tragic school shooting in Florida. But this debate has been raging for a long time in the U.S. In this first part of our interview with Professor Robert Spitzer, he lays out the history of the gun rights and gun control movements and what might change in the coming years.

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Dec 20, 2018

Chinese restaurants have become a staple in America, and they’re especially popular during the holidays. In this archive episode, Professor Heather Lee tells the story of how a loophole in the Chinese Exclusion Act led to the Chinese restaurant boom in America. Drawing parallels to today, she explains the unintended impacts of the law on the U.S. and China.

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Dec 13, 2018

Babies need diapers. But for 1 in 3 mothers, diapers are just too expensive to always have on hand. And that can leave children and families in a precarious situation. Professor Jennifer Randles lays out the diaper dilemma, how it affects America’s families, and what policies can be put in place to help solve the problem.

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Dec 6, 2018

Access to good housing is key to better health, both now and in the future. So what happens when the youngest and oldest members of our society don’t get the housing support they need? First, Professor Andrew Fenelon breaks down how affordable housing can change the lives of children. Next, Professor Jennifer Ailshire outlines the problems unique to the homeless elderly and what needs to change to help this growing population.

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Nov 29, 2018

Americans of color consistently have worse health outcomes than their white peers. So what’s behind this trend? First, Professor Margaret Hicken lays out how black Americans must often prepare themselves in the face of racism and what effects this has on their bodies. Next, Professor Abigail Sewell lays out how police use of force can impact not only the health of individuals, but of entire communities.

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