In the Spotlight

Ben Railton
Associate Professor of English Studies and Coordinator of American Studies, Fitchburg State University

From the time of the nation’s founding, America has been home to diverse peoples and cultures – including Moroccans, Filipinos, and Chinese along with Native Americans, Africans, and others. Bigotry, nativism, and xenophobia have long vied with mutual acceptance.

Dana R. Fisher
University of Maryland

A new study reveals that discussions of climate policy are distorted by “echo chambers” - where information and beliefs are amplified by repetition inside enclosed systems. Because their own beliefs are constantly reinforced and never challenged, legislators end up cherry-picking parts of climate science to amplify or undermine, reducing the impact of research.

On November 4th, Christopher Lubienski testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee about vouchers used by low-income students in the District of Columbia to attend private schools. While there is no clear evidence that students using vouchers perform better in school, many argue that all students should have a wider array of school choices. (Watch at 1:16).  

Christopher Faricy
Syracuse University

Rhetoric aside, Republicans as well as Democrats have increased social spending through the federal government. But as Christopher Faricy spells out in his book, Republicans have favored tax credits and subsidies that boost the fortunes of the privileged and increase income gaps overall.

The first episodes of the Scholars Strategy Network podcast, No Jargon, launched Wednesday, November 4th. The weekly podcast presents interviews with top university scholars on politics, policy problems, and social issues facing the nation. Powerful research, intriguing perspectives – and no jargon. Listen to the podcast on iTunes.

Sponsored by the Scholars Strategy Network and the Wiener Center at Harvard University, a public panel convenes on Thursday, October 29 to discuss new research on money and inequality in U.S. politics and the shifting organizational terrain on the right and left.

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