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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Politics
2:04 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Rubio, Ryan, Portman, Christie: Who Will Be VP?

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 2:23 pm

Mitt Romney, the presumed GOP presidential candidate, continues to try out potential running mates, though most deny any interest in the job. Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Rob Portman, Gov. Chris Christie and others have all made high-profile comments in recent days.

Education
2:04 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

The Best Ways To Integrate Special Needs Students

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 2:50 pm

Budget cuts in many school districts have some parents and teachers questioning whether they have the resources to support their students. NPR education correspondent Claudio Sanchez and Thomas Hehir of Harvard University talk about how to integrate special needs students into mainstream classrooms.

NPR Story
2:31 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

'Debulked Woman': Ovarian Cancer's Grim Reality

Susan Gubar is a professor emeritus of English at Indiana University, Bloomington, and co-editor of The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women.
Donald Gray

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 10:55 am

Feminist literary scholar Susan Gubar was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in November 2008. She then began her emigration "from the world of the healthy to the domain of the ill," she writes in her book, Memoir of a Debulked Woman.

Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread throughout the abdomen, and is typically fatal. To slow the spread of the disease, Gubar underwent a procedure known as the mother of all surgeries — a radical debulking operation in which her ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, appendix and parts of her intestine were removed.

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From Our Listeners
2:31 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Letters: New Graduates And Jobs, And Joshua Bell

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous Talk of the Nation show topics including the outlook for new graduates and jobs, guns and "Stand Your Ground" laws, and violinist Joshua Bell's new job.

NPR Story
2:01 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

'Gal Sports Reporter' Past Shakes Up Newsroom

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 2:31 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

In a piece in last month's Chicago Tribune, reporter Bonnie Miller Rubin described a message from an earlier self, a copy of the Davenport Times Democrat from 1973 that introduced her as that paper's first gal on the sports desk, complete with a photo of her in a short skirt jogging alongside the track team from a local college. In a column, her then-editor wrote: Please, no special treatment for her just because she's a member of the fairer sex. She joins us in a moment.

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NPR Story
2:01 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Scandals Test U.S.-China Relationship

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 2:31 pm

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's China visit comes at a fragile moment in diplomatic relations. Some analysts describe the Chen Guangcheng and Bo Xilai incidents as a "perfect storm" that will test the relationship between the U.S. and China.

NPR Story
2:01 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

John Brennan Delivers Speech On Drone Ethics

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 2:31 pm

In the first formal acknowledgement of what's been an open secret, White House Counter Terrorism adviser John Brennan publicly stated that the U.S. conducts drone strikes targeted on al-Qaida. In a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Brennan opened many doors on drone strikes.

Africa
2:24 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

What's At Stake In Sudanese Border Battle

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

For weeks now, war has been simmering along the world's newest border between Sudan and South Sudan. Both countries blame the other as the aggressor in a conflict that includes disputes about contested territory and about access to oil reserves. Before an American sponsored peace agreement, what's now South Sudan fought a long war for independence that killed an estimated one and a half million people. Now less than a year after separation, the two states stand on the brink of full scale war.

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Music
2:13 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

On Jazz Day, Jason Moran Makes The Case For Relevance

Jazz pianist Jason Moran was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010.
Clay Patrick McBride

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 9:53 am

Some of the world's most renowned musicians recently gathered in Paris and New Orleans to celebrate the first annual International Jazz Day. UNESCO, the U.N.'s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has set April 30 as a day to raise awareness of jazz music's significance and potential as a unifying voice across cultures.

In spite of the celebrations, though, in the U.S. the jazz audience continues to shrink and grow older, and the music has struggled to connect with younger generations.

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Opinion
2:02 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Op-Ed: U.S. Has Abdicated Responsibility For Syria

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 2:22 pm

As Syria continues its violent crackdown, Hoover Institution senior fellow Fouad Ajami argues that the U.S. has forsaken Syria and its people and provided the regime with a lifeline. In the Wall Street Journal, Ajami writes that "everyone is waiting on Washington's green light and its leadership."

Technology
2:07 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Designing The Pied Piper Of Fish

Mechanical engineer Maurizio Porfiri, of the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, designs robot fish. A few years ago, he found that real fish would mill about his aquatic robot, and now he's trying to understand why. His research suggests that it has less to do with how the robot looks, than how it makes fish feel.

Space
2:00 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Mining Quarries Millions Of Miles From Earth

A private company has unveiled plans to mine precious metals and water from nearby asteroids. Planetary Resources co-founder Eric Anderson discusses the various stages of the mining process and how the excavated minerals could impact future space exploration and innovation on Earth.

Technology
1:52 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

The Idea Factory: How Bell Labs Created The Future

In The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation, Jon Gertner writes of the legendary innovations developed at AT&T's Bell Labs, from lasers and transistors to solar cells and cell phones, and discusses how the lab became a hotbed for new ideas.

Space
1:47 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

An Astronaut Explores NASA's Scientific Frontiers

He's flown the space shuttle five times, and performed eight spacewalks to service the Hubble telescope. Now astronaut and astrophysicist John Grunsfeld heads up NASA's Science Mission Directorate, where he manages scientific investigations on the home planet--and beyond.

NPR Story
2:03 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

'Ball Four': The Book That Changed Baseball

New York Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton holds two balls that his teammates hope will lead them to victory in the 1964 World Series.
AP

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 12:53 pm

Fifty years ago, a young pitcher won his first major league game for the New York Yankees. Jim Bouton went on to become a top-flight player.

But he became famous, or notorious, for Ball Four, a memoir that described the petty jealousies on the team, as well as camaraderie, raucous tomcatting, game-winning heroics, routine drug use and the pain professional athletes endure.

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