Experts Guide

2016 Presidential Race

The 2016 presidential race is heating up as candidates enter primary season.

07-37837-1_Anthony-NownesAnthony Nownes is a professor of political science whose research looks at lobbyists and interest groups at local, state, and national levels. His books include Interest Groups in American Politics: Pressure and Power, and Total Lobbying: What Lobbyists Want (and How They Try to Get It). “As always, interest groups will play a substantial role in this race, primarily by contributing money to candidates and forming super PACs,” Nownes said. Read more.

Planet Nine Theory

Astronomy enthusiasts and the space science community recently have been abuzz with the theory of Planet Nine, a space body 10 times bigger than the earth orbiting the sun and tucked not far from Neptune. The potential planet would be part of the Kuiper Belt objects—icy bodies that orbit the sun beyond Neptune. Pluto is one of the largest Kuiper Belt objects. NASA cautions that the existence of the planet is a theory, not an actual discovery.

joshua-emery2Josh Emery, assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences, is an expert in astronomy. He’s spent the past 10 years analyzing telescopic data from Kuiper Belt objects and the surface composition of icy dwarf planets. He is an expert in astronomy, particularly that of our own solar system. Read more.

Amtrak Investigation

David ClarkeDavid Clarke, director of the Center for Transportation Research can answer questions and provide insight as the investigation report relating to last May’s fatal Amtrak crash near Philadelphia is released.

Considered one of the foremost experts of trains and train safety in the United States, Clarke has been consulted by the Associated Press, NBC News, USA Today and the Boston Globe, among others, following previous rail incidents and investigations. Read more.

Supreme Court Challenge to Obama Immigration Program

The Supreme Court said that it would consider a challenge to President Barack Obama’s overhaul of the nation’s immigration rules. In 2014, Obama ordered the creation of a program to allow as many as five million illegal immigrants who are the parents of citizens or of lawful permanent residents to apply for a program sparing them from deportation and providing them work permits. The program was called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.

McKanders_KarlaKarla McKanders, associate professor of law in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Law, researches civil rights and asylum law and policy, in addition to immigration issues. She has co-authored an extensive report on proposed reforms to the US immigration system. Read more.

Oil Prices

Earlier this month, oil prices dropped to $31 a barrel—the lowest in almost twelve years—and the news caused a major selloff after investors got nervous that prices could dip even lower in the near future. This is mostly thanks to too much supply and too little demand. It also doesn’t help that Iran could start exporting oil again as part of last year’s nuclear deal.

Murray_MatthewMatt Murray, director of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy is available for comment. Murray says gas prices are a key element of the economic outlook for the state and nation. Read more.

Racism, Radicalism, and Public Monuments of the Civil War

Alderman_DerekDerek Alderman, head of the UT Department of Geography, is an expert in cultural and historical geography, specifically related to public memory, heritage tourism, the civil rights movement, and African-American history. Read more.

JoshuaInwoodJoshua Inwood, an associate professor of geography and Africana studies, is an expert on racism and violence. He can also address the significance and legacy of white supremacy in the United States, and how hidden white supremacy still creates structural inequalities in the country. Read more.