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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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.

Education
10:00 am
Thu March 22, 2012

How Should We Test Students' College Educations?

Like many grade schools, a growing number of universities are turning to standardized tests to measure students' educations. Advocates say they are an important tool to help gauge what students learn. Critics insist no single exam can ever accurately measure the value of four years of college.

Europe
10:00 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Turkey's Rise Under Enigmatic Erdogan's Rule

A NATO ally with close ties to the West, Turkey's economy has grown significantly, and the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken active roles in several international crises. But reporter Dexter Filkins paints a complicated picture of Erdogan under threats of coup and paranoia.

NPR Story
10:00 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Race Cards: Six Words On Trayvon Martin's Death

Protesters demonstrate at a rally for slain teenager Trayvon Martin on March 22, 2012 in Sanford, Fla.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 9:34 am

Nearly a month after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Florida, the widespread shock and outrage has grown into a nationwide movement calling for justice. This week, the Justice Department announced it would conduct a federal investigation of the incident.

But the Trayvon Martin story has also turned into a dialogue about race in America, a conversation that NPR's Michele Norris has been engaged in for over a year with her Race Card Project.

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NPR Story
10:00 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Parkinson's Benches Petrick, But He's Far From Out

Ben Petrick dives into the plate during a 2001 game against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field in Denver, Colo.
Brian Bahr Getty Images

If Ben Petrick's career had gone the way the scouts expected, he'd still be in his prime — a star baseball player, maybe even a megastar. He came up to the majors as a catcher for the Colorado Rockies in 2000 with speed, power, a fine arm and maybe a better head for the game.

But the year before, at just 22-years-old, he learned that he had early-onset Parkinson's. He struggled to hide the symptoms, but, frustrated by his shaking and growing lack of mobility, he retired in 2004. Petrick has since focused on coaching, parenting and giving motivational speeches.

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Politics
10:00 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Rules Change May Pave Way To Brokered Convention

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Romney recovers in Puerto Rico and romps in Illinois. House Republicans draw a line. Santorum wants a do-over, maybe in Louisiana. It's Wednesday and time for a...

RICK SANTORUM: Saddle up...

CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

SENATOR BARRY GOLDWATER: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

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NPR Story
10:00 am
Wed March 21, 2012

After 34 Years With C-SPAN, Brian Lamb Steps Down

C-SPAN Chief Executive Officer Brian Lamb poses in his Washington office Oct. 1, 1998.
Khue Bui AP

The Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network went live in 1979. Its founder and CEO, Brian Lamb, became a pioneer in cable television when he pushed for public access to government proceedings. Congress at first resisted, but the House eventually opened its doors to cameras, and the Senate later followed.

The network now includes three cable channels, C-SPAN radio and an online video archive of all programming that has aired since 1987. Lamb is stepping down after 34 years with the network.

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Sports
10:00 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Athletic Quarterbacks Challenge Pocket Passers

Agile quarterbacks like Michael Vick, Tim Tebow and Robert Griffin III are gaining ground on traditional players who sit in the pocket, timing the perfect pass. NPR correspondent Mike Pesca and Super Bowl-winning QB Joe Theismann talk about how quarterbacks and the game of football have changed.

Medical Treatments
10:00 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Weighing The Pros And Cons Of Aspirin Regimens

A pair of new studies find that taking aspirin daily may significantly reduce the risk of many cancers and prevent tumors from spreading. Many experts view the findings as promising, but public health officials warn that the risks may still outweigh the benefits.

Television
10:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Wendell Pierce On 'The Wire,' 'Treme' And Food

When actor Wendell Pierce returned to his native New Orleans to help rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, he noticed a lack of grocery stores selling fresh food. Now, Pierce is opening Sterling Farms — a chain of stores in the Ninth Ward that will sell food at affordable prices for low-income shoppers.

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