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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NPR Story
11:00 am
Tue November 15, 2011

Re-Telling The Story Of 'The Trail Of Tears'

The trail of tears — The forced migration of thousands of Native Americans from their ancestral homeland in the south West to Oklahoma — is taught in many classrooms as one of the darkest moments in American history.

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NPR Story
12:19 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

'Meaning Of Everything' Often Lost In Translation

There's a word for light blue and a word for dark or navy blue in the Russian language, but no word for a general shade of blue. When a translator is tasked with translating English "blue" into Russian, he or she must choose which shade to use.

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Economy
11:00 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Company Towns, After The Company Leaves Town

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, host: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Huntsville, Alabama, to some, is better known as Rocket City, where NASA engineers build rockets and kids come every year for space camp. With nearly half of the city's jobs linked to space and defense spending, the city is deeply connected to the nation's space exploration programs.

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Opinion
11:00 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Op-Ed: Cultivate Innovation To Kick-Start Economy

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, host: And now the Opinion Page. The Obama administration is expected to spend up to $1 billion to fund training and job placement for health care workers, a decision under the White House's We Can't Wait agenda. With unemployment at 9 percent, government officials have a single focus, and that is to create jobs. But inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen argues that the talk of job creation is actually setting a low standard. He says: We need more people who are passionate about finding new solutions and new industries.

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Television
11:00 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Abrams And Nolan Nab A 'Person Of Interest'

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, host: The new CBS crime drama "Person of Interest" tells the story of two men who prevent crimes before they can be committed. Excuse me. They find out about the crimes by looking at data gathered by intelligence surveillance designed to catch terrorists. The series was picked up by CBS after the network says it tested better than any other series in recent memory.

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri November 11, 2011

Hunt For A Vanishing Woodpecker

In 1956, dentist and amateur ornithologist William Rhein captured the rare Imperial woodpecker on 16 mm color film. Although this 85 second clip is the only known photographic record of the bird, Rhein kept the film to himself until after he died. Writer and bird fanatic Tim Gallagher tells the story of Rhein's expedition to look for the bird, and his own trip to the same mountains over 50 years later.

NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri November 11, 2011

Meet The MythBusters

Discovery Channel's MythBusters have taken on more than 700 myths, from how hard it is to find a needle in a haystack (it's hard) to whether toothbrushes have fecal matter on them (they do). Series hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage talk about the show with host Ira Flatow.

Health
11:00 am
Fri November 11, 2011

Cure Winter Blues With Light Therapy

Or The Beach — Seasonal depression, or seasonal affective disorder, affects some five percent of Americans in the winter as daily sunlight hours dwindle. Psychiatrist Richard A. Friedman discusses the evolutionary origins of the winter blues, and treatments ranging from light therapy to a trip to the beach.

Author Interviews
11:00 am
Fri November 11, 2011

'Steve Jobs': Profiling An Ingenious Perfectionist

For years, Steve Jobs courted biographer Walter Isaacson to write the definitive story of his life. When Isaacson learned how sick Jobs really was, he accepted. Here he discusses profiling the tech visionary, a task that often involved reconciling Jobs' recollections with those of his friends, family and colleagues.

Education
11:00 am
Fri November 11, 2011

Rethinking How Kids Learn Science

How important are museums, TV shows and after school clubs to teaching kids science? Ira Flatow and guests look at "informal science education" and what researchers are learning about learning science. Plus, what's the best way to keep undergraduate science majors in science?

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