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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Asia
11:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

What China's Internal Politics Mean For The U.S.

The visit of Chinese Vice President and heir apparent Xi Jingping to the United States, raised questions about internal Chinese politics — from human rights to technological development — and how the country will be governed in the future.

Law
11:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Op-Ed: Va.'s Ultrasound Bill Is Unconstitutional

Virginia state legislators passed a bill requiring women to receive an ultrasound — which is conducted via transvaginal probe in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy — before having an abortion. Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor for Slate magazine, calls the proposed law "an abomination."

Economy
11:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

What Happened To The Rainy Day Fund?

Americans have tended to save more and spend less in the years since the economic downturn in 2008. But according to a survey from BankRate.com, only 54 percent of Americans have more emergency savings than credit card debt.

From Our Listeners
11:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Letters: 'Linsanity', The Meaning Of 'Black Cool'

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics including the concept of "black cool," Jeremy Lin and "Linsanity," and which country's constitution Egypt should use as an example.

Oscar's Top Documentaries
11:54 am
Mon February 20, 2012

One Marine's Journey To 'Hell And Back Again'

Hell And Back Again focuses on Sgt. Nathan Harris' life at home and on the battlefield.
Courtesy Danfung Dennis

Photojournalist Danfung Dennis has captured the brutalities of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for major publications, including The New York Times, Time magazine, The Guardian and The Washington Post.

Inspired by these experiences, Dennis embedded with the U.S. Marines Echo Company in Afghanistan and created the documentary Hell And Back Again.

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NPR Story
11:54 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Ojibwe Writer Seeks Out The Beauty Of 'Rez Life'

Novelist David Treuer is the son of an Ojibwe trial judge.
Jean-Luc Bertini

Stories about life on Native American reservations often focus on the hardships — alcoholism, drugs, violence and poverty. In Rez Life: An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life, Ojibwe writer David Treuer strives to capture stories about the beauty of life on Indian reservations.

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Sorting Out Iran's Regional Ambitions

Originally published on Sun February 26, 2012 6:57 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. A team of U.N. inspectors has arrived in Tehran, and a few days ago, the Iranian government sent a letter that proposed a new round of talks with the U.S. and five other big powers.

But conditions are so tense right now that some believe the failure of either effort might trigger an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, and no one knows what might happen after that.

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Opinion
11:00 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Op-Ed: Criminalizing Lies Is Dangerous, Unnecessary

Originally published on Mon February 20, 2012 1:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

And now, The Opinion Page. Does freedom of speech include the right to lie? After he boasted about his Medal of Honor, Xavier Alvarez became one of the first people convicted under the Stolen Valor Act, a law that makes it a crime to falsely claim military decorations. The case goes before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

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Energy
11:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Desert Military Bases Could Be Boon To Solar

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 3:52 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Last week, the government approved the first new nuclear reactor power plants in over 30 years, but in the meantime, the Department of Defense has been investigating a different energy source for its military bases: solar.

My next guest says the military could install seven gigawatts of solar power on its bases. That's roughly equivalent to the output of seven nuclear power plants, and that's all without interfering with bombing ranges or rocket tests and of course the desert tortoise.

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Where's The Cuttlefish

Duke biologist Sarah Zylinski wants to better understand how cuttlefish see the world. Like their relatives octopus and squid, cuttlefish are master camouflagers--and Zylinski says you can learn something about how they process visual information by testing how they change their skin patterns in relation to different backgrounds.

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