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.

'Captain Dad' Finds The Funny In Parenting

Nov 2, 2011

When moms see cartoonist Pat Byrnes on the playground with his daughters, he says they often check the sex offender registries on their cell phones. Byrnes is a stay-at-home dad and creator of a "manly blog of stay-at-home parenting" where he writes not as Mr. Mom, but as Captain Dad.

What's Actually Taught In Sex Ed Class

Nov 1, 2011

The New York City public schools recently sparked controversy with a new sex education curriculum that critics complain is too explicit. New York, and many other school districts, relies on curricula designed by outside experts. Guests talk about who decides what's included, and what's left out.

Signs Of Change In Myanmar

Nov 1, 2011

After decades of sometimes brutal military rule, there have been recent signs of change in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. The government of Myanmar has embarked on what appears to be a series of confidence-building measures that have gotten the attention of the west and the domestic opposition.


NEAL CONAN, host: It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Our discussion with author and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro generated a lot of responses about what it really means to be a monster. Mary in Virginia Beach, Virginia, tweeted: It helps if a monster is physically terrifying. That definitely freaks me out. And Lisa Hermenez(ph) wrote: Monsters inspire our instinctual fears. As a result, we love to hate them.

In a recent piece in The New York Times, Jordan Tama argues in defense of a back-room deal for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. He points to many examples throughout history when secrecy lead to success, and public forums resulted in more partisanship.


NEAL CONAN, host: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Last week, a coroner's report provided the details of a verdict that everyone already knew. Singer Amy Winehouse drank herself to death. Her blood alcohol content was five times the legal limit when she was found in her London home in July.