Talk of the Nation

Weekdays 12:00 pm

When Americans want to be a part of the national conversation, they turn to Talk of the Nation, NPR's live, midday news-talk program. Host Neal Conan leads a productive exchange of ideas and opinions on the issues that dominate the news landscape.

From breaking news, science, and education to religion and the arts, Talk of the Nation offers listeners the opportunity to join enlightening discussions with decision-makers, authors, academicians, and artists from around the world.

For two hours each Monday through Thursday, Talk of the Nation listeners weigh-in, share their thoughts and ask questions by calling, emailing, messaging through social media.

On Fridays the conversation turns to the topics of science, with Talk of the Nation: Science Friday with Ira Flatow, focusing on news and issues about the world of science and technology.

A long-time NPR journalist, Conan has been a reporter, editor, and anchor for NPR live events coverage. Conan played a major role in anchoring continuous live coverage of developments during the terrorist attacks and aftermath of September 11, 2001. His broadcasts are marked by their clarity, accuracy and eloquence.

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Sports
10:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Season Ends For Legendary Coach Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt, head coach of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers and the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2011. As her 38th season concludes, Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins talks about suspicions that Summit won't return next year.

From Our Listeners
10:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Letters: Mental Health And The Military, 'The Talk'

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last week, after a member of the U.S. military was accused of slaughtering civilians in Afghanistan, we talked about how the military assesses mental fitness. Eman(ph) wrote from Sunnyvale, California to say the entire discussion left him uneasy. I feel very uncomfortable with the shooter-as-victim narrative that seems to be running through the U.S. media's coverage of the Robert Bales case, he wrote.

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Author Interviews
10:57 am
Mon March 26, 2012

A Doctor's Quest To Offer 'Best Care' At End Of Life

Dr. Ira Byock is the director of palliative medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Mark Washburn Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 12:02 pm

Many people hope to die peacefully at home surrounded by their loved ones, but unfortunately it usually doesn't turn out that way. Thirty percent of Americans die in nursing homes, more than half die in hospitals and nearly half of those people spend their last days in intensive care units.

In his book The Best Care Possible, Dr. Ira Byock argues that the way most Americans die is a national disgrace — an ethical, moral and economic crisis that will get a great deal worse as the baby boomers age.

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National Security
10:00 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Defining Nuclear Security To Address Modern Threats

Speaking in South Korea, President Barack Obama said that the U.S. can further reduce its nuclear arsenal, while maintaining its security. Some insist that a credible nuclear deterrent requires a sizeable stockpile of weapons.

Opinion
10:00 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Op-Ed: Why I Wrote 'Stand Your Ground' Law

Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law faces increased scrutiny after the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teen who was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. State Rep. Dennis Baxley (R-Fla.) co-sponsored the law and says it does not appear to be applicable to that case.

Health Care
10:00 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Health Care Law's First Day In Supreme Court

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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Technology
10:00 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Making the Shift To Electric Vehicles

Though the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf entered the market to fanfare, the battery-powered cars haven't been selling as quickly as hybrid models such as the Toyota Prius. Industry experts discuss electric car technology, from batteries to charging stations, and what it might take to encourage drivers to make the shift.

Movie Interviews
10:00 am
Fri March 23, 2012

'Losing Control' In The Movies

A new romantic comedy opens in theaters this week, and it stars a scientist as the likeable, and only slightly nerdy, main character. The film's writer and director, former scientist Valerie Weiss discusses Losing Control, and why she made the shift from lab bench to big screen.

Health
10:00 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Picture An Embryo

As part of an NIH-funded project, Bradley Smith, associate dean for creative work, research and graduate education at the University of Michigan, posted a collection of optical images and MRI scans of human embryos to the web. Intended for a clinical audience, Smith talks about the unexpected response he got from the public.

Education
10:00 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Alan Alda Asks Scientists "What Is A Flame?"

At age 11, actor Alan Alda asked his teacher what a flame was. He received a confusing answer: "oxidation." In the spirit of better communicating science, he's created the "Flame Challenge," a contest in which scientists do their best to define a flame. Eleven-year-olds from around the world will judge the entries.

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