Talk of the Nation

Talk of the Nation linked the headlines with what's on people's minds, providing a springboard for listeners and experts to exchange ideas and pose critical questions about major events in the news and the world around them. Each day, Talk of the Nation combined the award-winning resources of NPR News with the vital participation of listeners. The result was a spirited and productive exchange of knowledge and insight that delves deeply into the news and ideas of the day.

Talk of the Nation ended its 17-year run on June 27, 2013.

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Law
2:25 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Programs Keep Inmates From Returning To Prison

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Columbus, Ohio. While numbers are down in some places, the prison population across the United States remains enormous and enormously expensive. Eventually, of course, almost all those men and women will be released. Ohio is among several states that have decided to put scarce resources into programs designed to reduce the chances that those ex-convicts will commit new crimes and go back behind bars.

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History
2:05 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Ohio 'On The Front Line' In The War Of 1812

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 2:30 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Election 2012
2:05 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

The Political Junkie's VP Debate Preview

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 2:18 pm

NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin previews Thursday's vice presidential debate. WOSU news director Mike Thompson talks Ohio politics. And former Virginia governor Tim Kaine and former congressman Tom Davis talk about Kaine's U.S. Senate race against another former Virginia governor, George Allen.

Studio Sessions
2:44 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Gregoire Maret Makes His Way On The Harmonica

On his self-titled debut, Gregoire Maret collaborates with Raul Midon, Marcus Miller and Cassandra Wilson.
Ingrid C. Hertfelder Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 11:23 am

Over the past decade, Swiss musician Gregoire Maret has redefined the role of the harmonica in modern jazz. After cutting his teeth as a sideman for some the biggest names in jazz, he's now taken center stage as a bandleader.

Here, Maret talks with NPR's Neal Conan about recording his self-titled debut album, building a following for the jazz harmonica and making the transition from sideman to headliner.


Interview Highlights

On how he got his start

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Education
2:03 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Weighing Alternatives To Affirmative Action

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 9:47 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Tomorrow the Supreme Court revisits the decades-long debate on the use of affirmative action in college admissions. In the latest case, Fisher versus University of Texas at Austin, a white student argues that she was denied admission on account of her race.

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From Our Listeners
2:03 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Letters: Helping Kids Handle Grief

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 9:47 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Strange News
2:03 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Casting Hopes And Dreams To Sea In A Bottle

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 12:37 pm

Capt. Sean Bercaw has thrown hundreds of messages in bottles into the ocean, and received dozens of responses. It started when he was just a child.

"I was born into a family with this crazy dream of sailing around the world," he tells NPR's Neal Conan. At age 10, he and his family set off on a three-and-a-half-year voyage around the world. It was on that trip that he got the idea to put notes in bottles.

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World
3:37 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

War And Violence On The Decline In Modern Times

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Suicide bombers explode themselves in the heart of Damascus; tens of thousands killed in that Syrian civil war and counting; the U.S. ambassador to Libya and four other Americans murdered in an attack in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11; in Minneapolis, a gunman kills four people at a local post office before shooting and killing himself; just a few of the recent headlines from a world seemingly afflicted by war and violence.

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Around the Nation
1:20 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Skies Less-Than Friendly When Packing A Cello

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 3:37 pm

Paul Katz bought two tickets — one for himself and one for his cello — on a flight from Calgary to Los Angeles. But the captain told him his cello had to fly as checked baggage. After an agonizing flight, Katz cried when the captain returned his cello, unharmed. Originally broadcast August 27, 2012.

Religion
1:20 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Christians Divided Over Science Of Human Origins

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:16 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The Book of Genesis tells the story of creation, of the sea, the sky, the birds and animals and, finally, Adam. Chapter 2, Verse 7 reads: The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. Eve was formed out of Adam's rib.

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Race
1:20 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Betwixt And Between: Studying Multiracial Identity

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 3:37 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

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Medical Treatments
1:04 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

From Stem Cells To Eggs (And Beyond)

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, turning stem cell into mouse eggs. Scientists have been growing stem cells in the lab for nearly 15 years now. And in that time they've learned to transform stem cells into pretty much anything they wanted to - heart cells, liver cells, brain cells. But now a group of Japanese scientists has raised the bar by transforming mouse stem cells into mouse eggs. And not only do they look like eggs but they can be fertilized and developed into healthy mice.

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NPR Story
12:11 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

What Your Genes Can Tell You About Your Memory

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:03 pm

A recent study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania identified key molecules involved in forming long-term memories. Experts discuss how this is the latest in a growing field of research on how our bodies regulate our genes, and how this process affects our memories.

NPR Story
12:11 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Why Mobile Maps Sometimes Lose Their Way

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Starting route to Empire State Building: Head northwest on West 43rd Street.

FLATOW: That's the voice of Apple's maps app for iOS 6. She sounds confident enough, but how do you know she'll actually lead you to the correct destination? Because as users all over the world have figured out, Apple's maps and their driving directions have some serious problems. Apple has even apologized for it.

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NPR Story
12:11 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

A Beetle That Puts The 'Extreme' in Extremity

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Flora Lichtman is here with our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: What you got for us this week?

LICHTMAN: This week's video pick is about a very menacing creature, and I want to give our listeners a chance to guess what it is based on some clues from University of Montana, biologist Doug Emlen and Erin McCullough.

ERIN MCCULLOUGH: These males have a giant pitchfork sticking out of their forehead.

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