Experts Guide

The Great American Eclipse

On August 21, much of the USA will plunge into darkness during a continent-wide total solar eclipse. The zone of totality, where stars could briefly come out in the middle of the day, crosses 12 states from Oregon to South Carolina.

Mark Littmann‘s focus is science writing and writing about astronomy. He directs the Science Communication program, teaches three different science-writing courses, and serves as program chairman for the UT Science Forum. Read more.

Sean Lindsay‘s primary research is on determining the mineralogy and relative abundances of dust species for the small bodies of the solar system to understand the origins and evolution of the solar system. Read more.

Eclipse 2017: Everything You Need to Know


Healthcare and ACA Replacement Plan

Robert LieberthalRobert Lieberthal is an assistant professor in the department of public health. His research focuses on health economics with a particular emphasis on the efficiency and effectiveness of health insurance.

He can speak about what the Affordable Care Act replacement means for health insurance markets, especially in Tennessee; how the rate of uninsured might change, especially in Tennessee; and how the burden of premiums and out of pocket costs would change for individuals.

He is the author of “What is Health Insurance (Good) For? An Examination of Who Gets It, Who Pays for It, and How to Improve It.” Read more.


North Korea

North Korea’s growing nuclear weapons program and recent missile tests have heightened tensions between the East Asian nation and the United States. Are we careening toward a clash?

“I think we should all take a few breaths and recognize that multiple presidents have had to address this issue multiple times. This is not new,” said Brandon Prins, a UT professor of political science who studies international relations. Read more.


Supreme Court Session

From police shootings, to establishing religion, to transgender bathrooms, several high-profile cases likely to come before the US Supreme Court this spring could reshape some of our nation’s laws, according to UT Professor Richard Pacelle.

“It is a relatively calm year,” said Pacelle, head of the Department of Political Science who has written extensively about the Supreme Court. “Because the court had just eight justices [before the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch], it limited the types of cases it took, avoiding some controversial cases that might end up 4–4.” Read more.


Minority Groups in Today’s Climate

Grzanka photoPatrick Grzanka, assistant professor of psychology, can address fears that immigrants, people of color, Muslims, sexual and gender minorities, and any minority group might be facing. Read more.


Michael Higdon, director of legal writing and associate professor of law, is an expert on issues related to LGBTQ rights and same-sex marriage. Higdon’s scholarship focuses on the stigmatizing effects discriminatory laws pose to the LGBTQ community. Having taught family law for nearly a decade, Higdon can address the changing definition of family in American jurisprudence. Read more.