Estate Planning and End-of-Life Decision-Making

Guest: University of Minnesota Family Social Science Professor Marlene Stum

People often avoid the topic of mortality and how their affairs should be managed following their death. Nearly three years ago, the news that music legend Prince died without a will served as a wakeup call for many Minnesotans.  University of Minnesota Family Social Science Professor Marlene Stum discusses the estate planning process and the importance of preparing in advance for end-of-life decisions.

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Creating Pollinator-Friendly Landscapes

Guest: University of Minnesota Assistant Professor of Entomology Vera Krischik

Scientists are expressing concern about the declining numbers of pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies. Urbanization, the loss of prairie land and the use of pesticides have all contributed to the problem. But there are things that land owners and homeowners can do to make their properties more pollinator-friendly.  University of Minnesota Associate Professor of Entomology Vera Krischik discusses the role of these beneficial insects.

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The Partial Federal Government Shutdown & the Battle Over Border Security

Guest: Hamline University Political Science Professor/University of Minnesota of Minnesota Visiting Professor of Law David Schultz.

The longest partial federal government shutdown in U.S. history came to an end when President Donald Trump gave Congress three weeks to come up with a plan that would include funding for a border wall. Recently, the President expressed doubt that legislation acceptable to him will pass Congress before the February 15th deadline. Trump is threatening to either declare a national emergency to fund the wall or partially shut down the government again if he doesn’t get his way. Hamline University Political Science Professor and University of Minnesota Visiting Professor of Law David Schultz discusses the reasons why government shutdowns occur, the difference between funding for border security versus a physical barrier, and the prospects that Minnesota could experience a state government shut down.

 

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A Low-Cost Path to Childhood Tooth Cavity Prevention

Guests: Dr. Elise Sarvas, DDS, dental director of the Minnesota Oral Health Project & Dr. Amos Deinard, MD, University of Minnesota pediatrician.

Many young Minnesota children from low-income families lack access to dental care. When oral health issues arise, caregivers often seek temporary and expensive treatment in hospital emergency rooms. But there’s a simple, low-cost procedure that protects kids from developing cavities. Dr. Elise Sarvas, dental director for the Minnesota Oral Health Project and Dr. Amos Deinard, University of Minnesota pediatrician discuss the benefits of applying fluoride varnish to children’s teeth to prevent caries, more commonly known as cavities.

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An Inside Look at US Supreme Court Deliberations

Guest: University of Minnesota Morse Alumni Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Law Timothy Johnson.

The US Supreme Court is the final arbiter of legal issues that can alter the course of history.  Yet, much of its decision-making process takes place in private. A citizen scientist research project aims to shed light on these closed-door deliberations. University of Minnesota Morse Alumni Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Law Timothy Johnson describes his efforts to transcribe the justices’ handwritten notes for broad public access.

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The Pitfalls of Probation

Guest: University of Minnesota Assistant Professor of Sociology and Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice faculty member Michelle Phelps.

The probation system as we know it dates back to the Progressive Era. Created to provide offenders with a supervised path to reintegrate into society, contemporary critics say that probation is often arbitrarily enforced and is frequently a pipeline back to prison. University of Minnesota Assistant Professor of Sociology Michelle Phelps discusses her research on the probation system and how it disproportionally impacts African-Americans.

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The Legacy of 1968, Part 2

Guest: University of Minnesota Regents Professor Emeritus of History Sara Evans

As we close out 2018, we continue our look back at the extraordinary year of 1968. This week, part 2 of our conversation with University of Minnesota Regents Professor Emeritus of History Sara Evans about some of the events that shaped that tumultuous year.

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The Legacy of 1968, Part 1

Guest: University of Minnesota Regents Professor Emeritus of History Sara Evans

As we close out 2018, we continue our look back at the extraordinary year of 1968. This week, a conversation with University of Minnesota Regents Professor Emeritus of History Sara Evans about some of the events that shaped that tumultuous year. It's the first in a two-part series.

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The Civil Rights Movement In 1968

Guest: University of Minnesota Professor of African American and African Studies Keith Mayes 

As 2018 winds down, we look back at the extraordinary year of 1968. University of Minnesota Professor of African American and African Studies Keith Mayes discusses the significant events of that year in the the civil rights movement.

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Tariffs, Trade Wars and the U.S. Economy, Part 2

Guest: University of Minnesota Economics Professor Timothy Kehoe

President Donald Trump is taking credit for the current state of the economy, citing low unemployment and robust economic growth. But the president’s trade wars are generating controversy. University of Minnesota Economics Professor Timothy Kehoe returns to discuss trade and tariffs, their potential impact on Minnesota's farmers and big box retailers and the overall state of the nation's economy.

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Tariffs, Trade Wars and the U.S. Economy

Guest: University of Minnesota Professor of Economics Timothy Kehoe

President Donald Trump is taking credit for the current state of the economy, citing low unemployment and robust economic growth. But the president’s trade wars and a growing budget deficit under his administration are stirring controversy. This week, a conversation with University of Minnesota Economics Professor Timothy Kehoe about trade and tariffs. It’s the first of a two-part series on the state of the US economy.

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How Fear Distorts Reality

Guest: University of Minnesota Regents Professor of American Studies and History Elaine Tyler May

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It’s been nearly 70 years since Russia acquired a nuclear bomb and thrust America into a state of anxiety. Schools conducted duck and cover drills, and some homeowners built fallout shelters. The collapse of the Soviet Union brought an end to the Cold War, but our unease persisted. University of Minnesota Regents Professor of American Studies and History Elaine Tyler May discusses her latest book Fortress America: How We Embraced Fear and Abandoned Democracy.

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The Written Word's Power to Deceive

Guest: Professor Andrew Elfenbein, University of Minnesota English Department Chair

This week, a look at so-called “fake news.” Much of this misinformation is spread via social media. While we generally assume that we can separate fact from fiction, psychological research suggests otherwise. University of Minnesota English Department Chair and Professor Andrew Elfenbein discusses his new book titled The Gist of Reading, and how written content can distort our perception of reality.

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Midterm Election Analysis

Guest: Professor Kathryn Pearson, University of Minnesota Associate Professor of Political Science

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University of Minnesota Associate Professor of Political Science Kathryn Pearson provides analysis of the midterm elections and what we can expect in their wake.

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President Trump's Threat to Withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty With Russia

Guest: Professor Mark Bell, University of Minnesota Assistant Professor of Political Science

President Donald Trump is threatening to pull the US out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces--or INF--Treaty with Russia. Trump is also promising to bolster the nation’s nuclear arsenal until, in his words, other nuclear powers “come to their senses.”

What does a potential withdrawal from the INF mean for US relations with Russia and our European allies? Does it signal a return to a dangerous nuclear arms race and a revival of the Cold War?

University of Minnesota Assistant Professor of Political Science Mark Bell is an expert on nuclear weapons and proliferation and American foreign policy. He offers his insights on the INF and the possible consequences if the US bows out of the treaty.

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The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court

Guest: Professor Timothy Johnson, University of Minnesota Morse Alumni Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Law


Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice following a contentious and partisan confirmation process. University of Minnesota Morse Alumni Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Law Timothy Johnson discusses the impact on our political and judicial institutions.

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When Politics and Athletics Collide

Guest: Professor Douglas Hartmann, University of Minnesota Sociology Department Chair

50 years ago, U.S. Olympic sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in a gesture of support for the Black Power Movement during the medals presentation at the Summer Games in Mexico City. University of Minnesota Sociology Department Chair and Professor Douglas Hartmann draws parallels between the 1968 Olympics protest and the current controversy surrounding athletes who kneel during the National Anthem. He's written a book titled Race, Culture, and the Revolt of the Black Athlete: The 1968 Olympic Protests and Their Aftermath.

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The Shakespeare Requirement

At the fictional Payne University, egos clash and dysfunction reigns. University of Minnesota Professor of English and Creative Writing Julie Schumacher reprises Jason Fitger and his Payne University colleagues in her new book The Shakespeare Requirement. It’s a sequel to her Thurber Award winning article Dear Committee Members. We chatted with her in her office about her latest novel and the process of fiction writing.

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