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No Jargon Podcast
No Jargon Podcast
a podcast by the Scholars Strategy Network
Episode 170: Guest Show - Democracy Works
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.
Episode 169: Who Controls the States?
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.
Episode 168: Cities in Crisis
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.
Episode 167: A Case of Life and Death
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.
Episode 166: Lawyers, Lawyers, and More Lawyers
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.
Episode 165: Civil Rights in Our Schools
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.
Episode 164: Treating Pain, Treating Addiction
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.
Episode 163: Biased Towards Democracy
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.
Episode 162: The Hidden Listings
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.
Episode 161: Guns in America Part 2
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.
Episode 160 Guns in America Part 1
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.
Episode 159: The Diaper Dilemma
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.
Episode 158: Home is Where the Health is
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.
Episode 157: Sickened By Systems
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.
Episode 156: A Seat at the Table
On November 6th a historic number of women and women of color were elected to Congress. And that means important changes could be coming to Capitol Hill. Professor Kelly Dittmar dives into the role of congresswomen in Washington DC, how women in the capitol view themselves, and what the election of more women to office means for our country’s future.
Episode 155: The Midterms and Beyond
On Tuesday, voters across the country went to the polls in one of the most watched midterm elections in decades. And now the results are in. So what does it all mean? Scholars Didi Kuo and Gabriel Sanchez break down some of the biggest trends from the 2018 midterms, like the Latino vote, what they say about our two political parties, and what we can expect for the future.
Episode 154: The Women Turned Away
Across the country, states are making abortion less and less accessible. And that means there are many people who seek an abortion but are denied one. So what does that mean for a woman’s health and well being? And what impacts does this have on her children? Professor Diana Greene Foster discusses the groundbreaking Turnaway Study she led to answer these questions.
Episode 153: Good Economy Better Jobs
Unemployment is very low and Americans report having strong confidence in the economy. But not everyone is benefitting equally. Professor Harry Holzer digs into why many Americans without a college degree still struggle to find jobs, especially ones that pay well, and what the government can do to help.
Episode 152: Who Gets a Green Card
When the US decides whether or not to grant an immigrant a green card, they look at many factors. That includes if they heavily rely on certain government programs to get by. But proposed changes at the federal level means this whole system is about to change. Professor Tiffany Joseph explains these changes and what they mean for immigrants in America.
Episode 151: Students at the Polls
College campuses are full of conversations about politics and policy. But many of these college students don’t turn out when it actually matters, on Election Day. Nancy Thomas explores what gets students to vote and how college administrators, faculty members, and students can improve voting rates on their campuses.
Episode 150: Giving the Vote Back
Casting a ballot seems as American as apple pie. But in Florida, one in ten people have had their voting rights taken away because of a criminal conviction. Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy dives into the history of Florida’s voting system, how ex-felons get their rights back, and what Florida voters can do to help.