The Paperwork Poverty Trap

How Forms, Long Lines, and Other Types of Bureaucratic Sludge Hold Everyone Back—Especially the Most Vulnerable

Cass R. Sunstein has thought a great deal about sludge. No, not the wastewater treatment byproduct, but the “yucky stuff” we are all doomed to encounter in our daily lives, whether it’s waiting on hold to change a phone plan or sifting through the paperwork to find a healthcare provider.

Sludge—which is also the title of Sunstein’s most recent book, Sludge: What Stops Us from Getting Things Done and What to Do about It—is at best a nuisance. But at worst, the legal scholar explained during last night’s virtual Zócalo/Pacific Council on …

More In: The Takeaway

Scientists Don’t Have to Be Heroes | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Scientists Don’t Have to Be Heroes

How NASA and ASU Astronomer Lindy Elkins-Tanton Is Dismantling the Personality-Driven Culture of the Research Laboratory

Two decades ago, NASA’s Psyche mission principal investigator and ASU Interplanetary Initiative vice president Lindy Elkins-Tanton was working toward her PhD at MIT. It was a place she loved, but …

How South (Central) L.A. Is Forging Its Future | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How South (Central) L.A. Is Forging Its Future

Where Movements and Place Make the People and Their Dreams

Under the shade of Mercado La Paloma’s gold medallion trees, some 200 masked guests gathered to take part in Zócalo Public Square’s long-awaited return to in-person programming.

The open-air event, which …

What Women Athletes Won When Title IX Became Law | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Women Athletes Won When Title IX Became Law

This Landmark Legislation Has Evened the Playing Field for 49 Years—In Fits and Starts

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 decreed, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits …

Small Towns Can Create Big Change | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Small Towns Can Create Big Change

From Banning Private Prisons to Universal Broadband and Pre-K, Necessity and Opportunity Allow California Communities to Punch Above Their Weight

Before answering the question of the evening—“What Makes a Good Small Town?”—the panelists at a Zócalo/California Wellness Foundation event had to choose a definition. What, asked moderator and Los Angeles …