Oxy faculty are experts in their field and regularly provide commentary to domestic and international media outlets. Read about their latest contributions to public dialogue!


The lawsuit hoping to retract approval of the abortion drug mifepristone is spearheaded by a group claiming the authority of "Hippocratic medicine." In a blog post for Nursing Cleo, Kristi Upson-Saia , who holds the David B. and Mary H. Gamble Professorship in Religion, examines the historical precedents of framing pregnancy as an illness.

Peter Dreier -- the E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics and Professor of Urban  and Environmental Policy -- and coauthor wrote about baseball for HistoryNet . They examine the history of labor struggles between professional baseball players and team owners during the Gilded Age. 

Associate Professor of History Jane Hong was interviewed by Melissa Harris-Perry on NPR's The Takeaway about her work on Asian American conservatism. Professor Hong discussed the  role of religion and its intersection with politics in Asian-American communities. .

Professor of History Marla Stone was interviewed by Sylvia Poggioli of NPR about the persistent presence of Fascist monuments in Rome. Professor Stone points out that Italian fascists used monuments to expand messages of nationalism, strength, and masculinity.

Billington Visiting Professor of U.S. History Thomas Balcerski explained why the State of the Union address exists to The Miami Herald and discussed the 20-year anniversary of George W. Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address, which foreshadowed the Iraq War, for The National News.

Marla Stone , Professor of History, spoke to the Associated Press article on the firing of a Florida charter school principal for showing a photo of Michelangelo's David. Professor Stone argued that censoring the principal reflected a larger moral panic about art and sexuality.

Billington Visiting Professor of History Thomas Balcerski analyzesthe remarkable life and service of former president Jimmy Carter. His commentary for Connecticut News Junkie highlights President Carter’s oft-overlooked achievements in office.

The Golden Goose awards go to scientific research that sounds trivial, but in fact changes the world. Radiolab covered this year’s winners, and interviewed Professor of Biology Joseph Schulz about his research studying cone snails.

Assistant Professor of Physics Sabrina Stierwalt appeared in an episode of PBS Nova to describe the work her group is doing with the James Webb Space Telescope.

Sierra Leone’s 2023 elections were the first to feature a new gender quota law, requiring that women must comprise 30 percent of parties’ candidates for office. Associate Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo spoke with Foreign Policy about whether and when such ‘gender quota laws’ can be successful.

Assistant Professor of Politics Isaac Hale is frequently seen and heard in state and national outlets, unpacking the politics of the day! Recently, Professor Hale appeared on Spectrum News and LiveNOW to discuss the impact and politics of California Senator Dianne Feinstein's extended Senate absence, President Joe Biden’s announcement that he is seeking reelection, and the indictment of former President Donald Trump. In another LiveNOW appearance, Professor Hale covered immigration policy, the debt ceiling, Trump’s ongoing legal battles, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s campaign launch.

Associate Professor of Music Shanna Lorenz works with Indigenous communities on digital privacy. Scientific American interviewed Professor Lorenz about how digital applications can support research by and about Indigenous communities while maintaining data sovereignty.

A major Democratic super PAC’s announced its plans to spend $35 million on California House races in 2024. For Roll Call, Assistant Professor of Politics Isaac Hale discusses how vulnerable House Republicans have held their seats in recent cycles.

In an op-ed for The Boston Globe, E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics and Professor of Urban  and Environmental Policy Peter Dreier analyzes Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s housing policy. Professor Dreier and coauthor argue that Mayor Wu’s rent control proposal - which requires approval of the state legislature - is both pro-business and pro-tenant and will help address the city's serious housing crisis.

Billington Professor of History Thomas Balcerski looks at the long strange history of contested elections for Speaker of the House for CNN. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is the first house speaker in exactly a century who failed to be elected on the first ballot.

Associate Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo appeared on the Democracy Paradox podcast to discuss Chile’s stalled efforts at writing a new constitution. Building on her recent article in The Journal of Democracy, Professor Piscopo argues that Chile’s new constitution offered a standard blueprint for social democracy, but fell victim to fearmongering and fake news.


Arts & Humanities

Billington Professor of U.S. History Thomas Balcerski continues to explain the Biden Administration to the American public. Professor Balcerski was quoted about the White House wedding of President Biden’s granddaughter, explaining how weddings help humanize the holders of high office. For The National News, Professor Balcerski reflected on Biden’s political career on the eve of the president’s birthday, commenting that the President has shown the public that “80 is not what it used to be.”

Billington Professor of History Thomas Balcerski analyzed the history behind President Biden's decision of whether or not to run for reelection in 2024. In his CNN contribution, Professor Balcerski notes that, if Biden decides not to run, he would be the first first-term incumbent president since 1876 to decline.

In a blog for Public Religion Research Initiative, Associate Professor of History Jane Hong remembers the March 2021 Atlanta spa shootings and discusses how differing racial perceptions of Asian Americans may affect Georgia officials' approach to prosecuting the shooter.


Assistant Professor of Chemistry Raul Navarro was named one of Chemical & Engineering News Magazine's LGBTQ+ Trailblazers of the Year. In his interview with the magazine, Professor Navarro discusses developing his identity as a queer scientist.

Social Sciences

Associate Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo is the invited international investigator on a Uruguay-based project investigating backlash to abortion rights in the Americas. In December, the Uruguayan newspaper La Diaria profiled Professor Piscopo and published a feature-length interview with her about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson.

Black communities have been targeted for sales for some of the most toxic beauty products. In the Los Angeles Times, Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Politics Bhavna Shamasunder reflected on the slow rate of progress in eliminating hazards from the products. While the clean beauty industry is ramping up, Black communities are being left behind.

Associate Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo spoke to Morning Consult about Mexico President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador’s ongoing popularity. Piscopo Piscopo highlights how Lopez Obrador’s infrastructure investments and social programs maintain popular goodwill, even as he attacks well-liked institutions like Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute.

Billington Visiting Professor of History Thomas Balcerski has been explaining results of the 2022 U.S. midterm elections. Professor Balcerski was interviewed for the National News about the relative underperformance of candidates backed by former President Trump and appeared on NBC Connecticut's "Face the Facts" to discuss how midterm elections usually constitute a loss for the incumbent president-- and why this year was different.

Associate Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo talked about Trump, Republican losses, and Democratic gains in the U.S. 2022 midterm elections to audiences in Santiago, Chile, on Estacion Central 94.5 fm, and to reporter Dan Balz of the Washington Post.

Assistant Professor of Politics Isaac Hale was interviewed for KALW about California’s ballot Propositions 26 and 27, both of which would have legalized sports betting in the state. Professor Hale noted that Proposition 27 is now the most expensive ballot measure in California history.

Following Brazil’s congressional elections, Associate Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo spoke with NPR’s Carrie Kahn about why Brazil elects so few women to Congress. Professor Piscopo highlighted problems related to Brazil’s election law and persistent discrimination against women candidates.

Assistant Professor of Politics Isaac Hale and his coauthors wrote a blog post for the London School of Economics’ United States and Public Policy blog about their recent article on COVID-19 attitudes and the 2020 presidential election. Professor Hale and coauthors found that economic concerns trumped public health for many voters.

Associate Professor of Economics Andrew Jalil appeared on California’s KCRW to discuss rising inflation in the United States. Professor Jalil explained that the Federal Reserve is striving for a “Goldilocks moment,” where they raise interest rates enough to slow inflation but not so much as to provoke a recession.

While Biden allies have said he will seek a second term, the president has shied away from making any public declarations. Thomas Balcerski, the Billington Professor History, joined Travis Smiley on KBLA 1580 to unpack the great risk that has come with Biden’s waffling on a future presidential run.

Will the Supreme Court abortion ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson bring more women voters to the polls in November? Not necessarily, explained Associate Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo in The Washington Post. Other issues--like climate, gun control, and inflation--will also shape how women vote.

Assistant Professor of Politics Isaac Hale appeared on KCRW about California Propositions 26 and 27, which are competing measures to legalize sports better either in-person or online. If approved, the propositions would make California a major destination for sports gambling in the United states and globally.

Stop blaming women for failing to run for office, and start blaming parties for failing to nominate them, argues Associate Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo in her latest op-ed, which appeared in The Toronto Star. The analysis contributes to the new Gender Balance campaign, which aims to elect more women to office in Canada.

Assistant Professor of Economics Jorgen Harris published an article in The Conversation describing his research on gender and employment in the judiciary. The article highlights a paper by Harris and his coauthors, published in the Journal of Labor Economics, which found that male judges on appellate courts are more likely to hire women as clerks when they share the bench with female judges.

Associate Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo appeared on Al Jazeera’s showAJ Streamto talk about Chile’s constitutional referendum, held on September 4, 2022. Professor Piscopo stressed the outsized role played by fake news, misinformation about the new constitution’s effects that contributed to its defeat.

Associate Professor of Economics Andrew Jalil was interviewed by Marketplace (a producer of economic and business news for NPR) about the Federal Reserve's recent interest rate hikes and the likelihood of recession. Professor Jalil explained how high inflation will lead to higher borrowing costs, which in turn depresses investment and consumer spending.

Associate Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo’s latest op-ed criticizes Canada’s claims to lead the globe on gender equality, given that Canada ranks 59 in the world for the number of women in politics. Her op-ed appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, the leading newspaper in the federal capital, was translated into French by Policy Options/Options Politques, and inspired a new social media campaign to elect more women to office in Canada.

Assistant Professor of Politics Isaac Hale was interviewed on the NBC-affiliate KCRA about California Propositions 26 and 27. Later, he repeated his appearance on KCBS radio. Both propositions are on the ballot in November, and Professor Hale explains the different approaches that each would take to legalizing sports betting.

Chile has written a new constitution--but one that has embolden an anti-democratic right wing, explains Associate Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo in her latest in Foreign Policy. The essay (co-authored with Peter Siavelis at Wake Forest University) discusses how the new constitution advances towards justice while deepening political polarization.

Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Politics Bhavna Shamasunder appears in the new HBO Max documentaryNot So Pretty. The series highlights Professor Shamasunder’s expertise by focusing on the hair, skin, nails and personal care products industries. The show aims to raise awareness about chemicals and inspire consumers to make choices that better safeguard their and the planet’s health.

Associate Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo’s analysis in The Washington Post examines the rise of Francia Marquez, an Afro-descendant feminist, lawyer, and environmentalist vying for the vice-presidency in Colombia’s May 2022 elections. Piscopo and coauthor argue that Marquez’s ascendancy marks a shifts in Colombian politics, as voters look to members of traditionally marginalized groups to chart a new, more progerssive path for the country.

Professor of Politics and Urban and Environmental Studies Peter Dreier reassesses Norman Mailer's controversial 1957 essay, "The White Negro" in commentary for Common Dreams. Dreier reflects on the essay as both an historical artifact and a measure of the changing ways American society, and the American Left, has dealt with racism.

Associate Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo’s latest op-ed in the Washington Post marked International Women’s Day by discussing governments’ startling lack of progress in addressing the gendered inequities in the COVID-19 pandemic. Piscopo explained that longstanding norms associating care work with women's work explains governments' reluctance to provide care services in the form of public goods.

Assistant Professor of Urban and Environmental Politics, Seva Rodnyansky, appeared on ABC7. The show highlighted Professor Rodnyansky’s research on how Bay Area out-migration has increased super-commuting in the Central Valley. Destinations for lower-income migrants show higher rates of having long commutes.

Associate Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered, in an episode discussing the large numbers of women holding elected office in Mexico. Professor Piscopo spoke with Carrie Kahn about how women from Mexico’s left and right parties won the adoption of a gender parity rule, where half of all elected and appointed offices across government must be filled by wome

Contact Center for Research & Scholarship
Aleksandra Sherman
Associate Professor, Cognitive Science; Director, CRS