Ask a Political Scientist: Election Season -- Changing minds

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We're in an all-hands-on-deck situation for American politics. Join us to make sense of the madness and learn how to make a difference.

About this Event

Is it possible to have conversations about politics in a way that actually changes minds and reduces prejudice? If so: HOW?!

Join us this week on Ask a Political Scientist to learn what research on transgender rights, identity, and LGBTQIA+ politics suggests actually works!

We welcome political scientists Melissa R. Michelson, Ph.D. (Menlo College) and Brian F. Harrison, Ph.D. (Minnesota), co-authors of Transforming Prejudice: Identity, Fear, and Transgender Rights and Listen, We Need to Talk: How to Change Attitudes about LGBT Rights.

Prof. Michelson is also an expert on Latinx politics and getting out the vote. She is co-author of Living the Dream: New Immigration Policies and the Lives of Undocumented Latino Youth, Mobilizing Inclusion: Transforming the Electorate Through Get-out-the-Vote Campaigns, and more!

Prof. Harrison is also an expert on political communication and political psychology, and author of the forthcoming book, A Change is Gonna Come: How to Have Effective Political Conversations in a Divided America.

Join us on Thursday, Oct. 22, 7p ET on our YouTube channel. You can make a reservation here to let us know you're coming, or just show up!

The show is free! Optional donations will go to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.


About the series

Ask a Political Scientist is a free live-streaming show that brings the latest research and biggest ideas in political science straight to wherever you're riding out this horrible year.

We're doing a special series of our popular show specifically focused on making sense of -- and hopefully making a difference in -- the upcoming election (have you heard? there's an election coming up!). We're talking:

  • Polarization (Sept. 24): How did this happen, is it as horrible as it seems, and what do we do about it?
  • The media (Oct. 1): Force for good? Force for evil? Somewhere in between?
  • Misinformation (Oct. 8): The true end of humanity or just ONE of the true ends of humanity?
  • Race & politics (Oct. 15): How does race and racism influence our politics, and vice versa? Where do we go from here?
  • Changing Minds (Oct. 22): How can we change attitudes about LGBTQ+ rights (and anything else for that matter)?
  • Getting out the vote (Oct. 29): Seriously, though, why do people vote and how do we get more of them to do it!?

Join us every Thursday, 7p ET, between now and the election on YouTube!


FAQs (JK no one asks me these but I wish they would)

What's the difference between politics and political science?

If politics is people yelling at each other, political science is understanding why people yell at each other. (And who has power and what they do with it.)

Why are you doing this show?

Because I think political science is awesome. It's about humans, influence, and how we make sense of and change the world. I also find that political science research is calming and empowering: everything is horrible, but there are people trying to make sense of it in a deep way. I find that reassuring, and I want to share that with you.

Who are you?

I'm a political scientist and a comedian who is trying to bring these two worlds together. This means I perpetually feel like I'm failing at both. Honestly, this show might be bad for my self-esteem.

Why should I watch this show?

This show is for anyone who is frustrated (and/or angry and/or terrified) about politics and wants to go deeper than the headlines to understand the madness of today and how to make a difference.

You'll learn the science behind how we got here, where we're going, and (hopefully) how to affect things for the better. Plus, political scientists are nice people and I think you'll like getting to know them!

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