Talk of the Nation

Mon. - Thurs. from 11am to 1pm (not including Science Friday)
Hosted by: Neal Conan

Talk of the Nation® links 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 combines the award-winning resources of NPR News with the vital participation of listeners. The result is a spirited and productive exchange of knowledge and insight that delves deeply into the news and ideas of the day.

Monday through Thursday, host Neal Conan invites callers to discuss areas of topical interest, including politics and public service, education, religion, music, and healthcare. Talk of the Nation goes behind the headlines with decision-makers, authors, thinkers, artists, and listeners around the world, who become part of the conversation by calling 1-800-989-TALK.

Talk of the Nation won the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Silver Baton Award in 1994-95 for "The Changing of the Guard: The Republican Revolution," as well as the 1993-94 duPont-Columbia Silver Baton for part of NPR's coverage of the South African elections. The program also won the 1993 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver Award.

Below, you will find articles, transcripts, and clips of many of the stories heard on Talk of the Nation.

Visit Talk of the Nation on NPR.org

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Interviews
10:44 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Desktop Diaries: Sylvia Earle

A moray eel, a flock of geese and a shrunken head are just a few of the things found in and around Her Deepness' office. Earle, an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic, has desks all over the country. A few months ago we stopped by her Oakland home-base for the next installment in our Desktop Diaries series.

Science
10:37 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Neanderthals: The Oldest Cave Painters?

Reporting in Science, researchers write that a red disk painted in Spain's El Castillo cave is at least 40,800 years old--making it the oldest known European cave art. Archaeologist Alistair Pike discusses how his team dated the disk, and whether Neanderthals could have painted it.

World Health
10:32 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Virus Hunter Recalls Discovery Of Ebola And HIV

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. Imagine a cargo plane dropping you off in a remote corner of the African jungle. The area you've just entered is under quarantine for a mysterious plague. Nobody knows how many people it has killed, but all who have fallen sick die within eight days, first high fever, headache, hallucinations, then usually bleeding to death.

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Science
10:26 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Putting a Friendly Face on Statistics

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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NPR Story
10:24 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Bacterial Armor Imaged, Down To The Details

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 10:56 am

Reporting in Nature, an international team of scientists say they've visualized the structure of a protective protein coat that surrounds many bacteria, down to the scale of a single atom. Structural microbiologist Han Remaut, co-author of the study, discusses potential applications of the research.

NPR Story
10:24 am
Fri June 15, 2012

How The Morning-After Pill Works

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 11:12 am

Mitt Romney referred to morning after-pills as 'abortive pills.' The FDA-approved label on Plan B indicates it may prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in a woman's uterus. Dr. Kristina Gemzell-Danielsson, an obstetrics and gynecology professor at Karolinska Institute, discusses the growing scientific evidence to the contrary.

NPR Story
10:24 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Mapping The Microbial Make-Up Of Healthy Humans

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 11:05 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

There are trillions of germs that live on us. What are they? What do they do? Inquiring minds want to know, and so they set to find out. And after five years of research, a group of several hundred scientists has released a census of the bacteria, viruses, fungi, other microorganisms that call our bodies home.

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Around the Nation
11:32 am
Thu June 14, 2012

'Marriage,' The Word At Heart Of Cultural Debate

In a recent column, Ben Zimmer wrote, "Is there any word currently more contested in our culture than marriage?" As the debate about same-sex marriage continues, he examines the definition of marriage and the ways advocates and opponents of same-sex unions use language to advance their positions.

Law
11:29 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Coroners: Inside The Lives Of Death Investigators

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. After 32 years, the mystery has been solved. A coroner in the fourth inquest into the death of an Australian couple's baby declared the dingo did in fact take the baby. You know a bit about the case if you saw the Meryl Streep movie "Cry in the Dark."

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Theater
11:24 am
Thu June 14, 2012

'Old Jews' Take Jokes To The Stage

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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